Letter of June 1 st 2002 from Jacques Gaillot
Tunisia a country under surveillance





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Tunisia a country under surveillance
The September 11 attacks are benefiting to the Tunisian President Ben Ali who has proclaimed his intent to fight terrorism. He is taking this opportunity to modify the constitution of his country and in the same time to be re-elected president with even more power than before. Everybody knows that the referendum for the modified constitution is a masquerade. The opposition is muzzled. The system is based on terror. The more the people are afraid the more they can be controlled.
répression  People eager for freedom have been transformed into people under surveillance and unable to speak freely. Repression applies to everyone and those in power control all the institutions. In Tunisia there is a system of state terrorism. 
How is it possible not to regret French politicians' support and encouragement to President Ben Ali?

I have participated in a Press conference for the coming out of a new book entitled "Tunisia, the dark side" published by Reporters without Frontiers. It contains many documents that condemn the regime.It is a very useful book for tourists fond of nice beaches with fine sand, the sea, the sun, the palm trees …. of Tunisia. They will learn about the sufferings of the Tunisian people. 

livre noir

I had the pleasure to see again Radhia Nasraoui, a women I admire very much for her courage and determination. A lawyer, she is persecuted by the government. Her husband, Hamma Hammani, has been in jail for a long time as leader of an opposition party. At that time he is doing a hunger strike. Radhia insisted that I go to Tunis, I decided to go with a group of delegates to defend her husband and to ask for a general amnesty for all the victims of the political repression in Tunisia.
The journalist and poet Taoufik Ben Brik was also attending the same Press conference, he has done a hunger strike that had a strong impact. I was happy to see him again. He is a rebel that nobody can prevent to speak.
I was also thinking of an absent: the highly estimated magistrate, Mokhtar Yahyaoui, who dared to denounce the absence of independence of the judicial system in his country. In spite of the pressure put on him and his family he did not give up. He has been dismissed. I remember calling him on his mobile phone to congratulate him and to tell him how he was the honor of his country. Moktar answered: "He was deeply touched"

village en Tunesie  As long as men and women stand up to resist to injustice and fear, we have hope.