Between 4 and 5 August in Tunis, at least three women were violently attacked by the police or with the latter. Among them, a lawyer and an LGBT activist, known for militant circles against violence against women. For our observers, these women suffer from a double violence: the aggression itself, combined with a suspicion of society that questions their versions of facts.The list of attacks on Tunisian women grew in less than 48 hours. Some of these abuses were filmed from several angles, as in this August 5 video and filmed in Aouina, north of Tunis. A police officer with a wheelchair tried to force a motorist into an unmarked car in the middle of the street. The passers-by intervened and tore the woman from the arms.
The victim posted a video on her Facebook profile the same day in which she explains the circumstances of her abuse of two men posing as police officers:
“At a roundabout at Aouina, a car with two men suddenly came in front of me. I pulled up to a gas station further. The same car pulled up and stopped me from driving. A man came down, introduced himself as a policeman and asked me for mine When I wanted to know where the problem was, he replied that I had given him a fish star and that I had insulted him. I insisted that I did not know him. It was at this point that the other man placed a flashing light on the vehicle. The brand man showed me was broken.
I felt something was wrong, and I took refuge in a neighborhood cafe. They chased me in the car. One of the two men started wanting to scare and insult me when he filmed me on his phone. I gave her insults. As I was about to get into my car, his companion said to me, ‘You will not go,’ as he bumped into the hood.
Then they took me by the wrists and pulled me to force me into their car (…). Because he’s a cop, and I’m a simple citizen, he used his status to intimidate and terrorize me. It is an abuse of power. “The woman then states that she received a desired message about her, her and her personal vehicle.” I do not know what would have happened to me if I had followed them. These men could have done anything for me, I was very scared. “
LGBT activists attacked with the involvement of the police
On August 5, Rania Amdouni, a LGBT activist, was also orally and physically attacked by a crowd on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in central Tunis, in front of police who remained impassive.
Police guarding the French embassy asked her for their papers and asked her: “Are you a girl, a boy or in between?”, A question to which Rania Amdouni answered that it was on her card. ‘identity. “This policeman urged passers-by to insult us and hit us,” tells Rania on her Facebook account. “We got homophobic kicks, slaps and sloppiness. A friend of mine had internal bleeding from the abuse.”
This violence takes place in the context of social activists for the rights of women and sexual minorities in a changing Tunisia. Voted in August 2017, the Law No. 58 of the Official Journal of the Republic (JORT) on the abolition of violence against women guarantees “the prevention, prosecution and repression of the perpetrators of such violence and the protection and care of victims”. The violence in question can be sexual, physical and moral, economic or political.