Facts as submitted by the complainant
The complainant states that he was an active member of the Islamist organization
ENNAHDA (formerly MTI). In July 1987, he was detained while on a camping trip with scouts.
The complainant says that he asked the police officers if they were acting on the basis of a
judicial warrant, but he was finally forced at gunpoint to remain silent. He states that, during his
interrogation, he was deprived of food and sleep and subjected to intimidation by being forced to
witness other detainees being tortured. He says that, despite requests to the local police, his
family were unable to ascertain where he was being held and that his father was even detained
himself for an entire day, because he had been making such representations.
While being held on Interior Ministry premises, in the cells of the national guard in
Bouchoucha and in the police headquarters of Gabès governorate, the complainant maintains that
he was subjected to eight torture sessions and provides a detailed description of these sessions.
He describes what is customarily known as the “roast chicken” position, in which the
victim is stripped naked, his hands tied and his legs folded between his arms, with an iron bar
placed behind his knees, from which he is then suspended between two tables and beaten, in
particular on the soles of his feet. The complainant says that his torturers blew cigarette smoke
into his face to choke him.
The complainant also claims to have been tortured in the “upside-down” position
whereby the victim is stripped, hands tied behind his back and suspended from the ceiling by a
rope tied to one or both of his feet, with his head hanging downwards. In this position he is
kicked and struck with sticks and whips until he passes out. The complainant adds that his
torturers tied a piece of string to his penis which they then repeatedly tugged, as if to tear his
The complainant claims to have been subjected to the “falka”, in which the victim’s feet
are tied to a bar which is then lifted so that his torturers can lash the soles of his feet.
The complainant also claims to have been subjected to the “chair” torture, in which the
victim is stripped and tied to a chair, with his hands behind his back, and beaten across the face,
chest and abdomen. He says that his torturers mopped up his blood with paper which they then
stuffed into his mouth to stifle his cries.
The complainant was also prevented from sleeping, from using the lavatory and from
According to the complainant, following this torture and ill-treatment, he was twice
admitted to the emergency service at Gabès hospital, but was unable to receive any visitors or to
contact his family or his lawyer.
The complainant states that, in these conditions, he was forced to make confessions and
that at the beginning of September 1987, he was placed in the 9 April prison in a solitary cell and
deprived of any contacts with the outside world.