CAT/C/21/D/91/1997 page 3 2.2 After his return to Tunisia the author started private lessons with a teacher who happened to be a prominent member of the illegal Al-Nahda movement although he never told him that. On several occasions he was picked up by the police and held for a few days during which he was interrogated about his teacher and beaten. At a certain point an arrest warrant was issued against the teacher, who asked the author for help in leaving the country. The author knew the border region well because his family came from that part of the country. That is why he was able to help the teacher cross the border. In May 1992 the author was arrested. For two weeks he was beaten daily and held in a sort of chicken coop at the police station. That treatment left him with scars on his back and three broken toes. At the end of those two weeks he was sent for military service which he had not yet performed despite having been called up in 1991. As a punishment he was sent to Ghafsa, an army centre in the desert, where he was again subjected to ill-treatment, such as being kept for several days in an underground cell. In August 1992 he managed to escape and left the country immediately through a small border post. 2.3 The author stayed in Algeria for a day and a half and then spent a month and a half in Morocco, where he destroyed his passport. He then went to Ceuta where he stayed for a month and a half and to the Spanish mainland, where he stayed until December 1993. Then he went to Paris where he stayed until March 1994. All these stays were illegal. He arrived in the Netherlands on 21 March 1994 where he asked for asylum and stated that he was an Iraqi national. On 20 September 1994, during an interview with immigration officials, he told them that his name was A. and that he had Algerian nationality. On 14 December 1995 the Secretary of Justice rejected his refugee claim and on 19 June 1996 his appeal was turned down by the President of the Regional Court in Amsterdam. On 15 July 1996, his application for review of the decision of 14 December 1995 was rejected. On 17 January 1997, his appeal against the rejection was dismissed by the President of the Regional Court in Amsterdam. 2.4 On 10 February 1997, the author was arrested by the police in Haarlem during an inspection of the company where he worked. This time he informed the police that he was of Tunisian nationality, but refused to give his real name unless he was given assurances that he would not be sent back to Tunisia. While in detention he filed another request for asylum that was rejected by the Secretary of Justice on 28 February 1997. On 5 March 1997 the author appealed this decision to the President of the Regional Court in Hertogenbosch. The appeal was turned down on 22 October 1997 and the expulsion was planned for 25 October 1997. The complaint 3.1 Counsel states that the hearing into the author's claim before the court on 22 October 1997 took place without his and the author’s presence and that a request for postponement awaiting relevant medical evidence which would only be available on 23 October was rejected by the court. The reason for the haste was that the Tunisian embassy had issued a laissez-passer for the author which would only be valid for a few days.