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Tunisia: Blogger Beaten up by Police for Telling a Joke

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

Eight months after the fall of the regime of Ben Ali, police in Tunisia have still not given up their brutality and violations of human rights.

On Wednesday, Tunisian blogger Azyz Amamy (@Azyyoz) was arrested and beaten up by police for telling a joke on bananas while he was near a police station. He was released on the same day.

No one knows what Amamy's joke was, but it seems that it provoked the police officers. Indeed, last week, Interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi addressed the nation. During his speech, he said that “97 per cent of the National Guard agents are good, and the rest are monkeys.” The comment outraged police officers, who called for an apology from the PM.

Azyz Amami, Twitter profile.

Azyz Amami, Twitter profile.

This might explain why the police reacted brutally to Amamy's joke.

Liliopatra reports:

Cet après midi, 14 septembre 2011, soit 8 mois après la fuite du dictateur ben ali, la police continue à agir comme des voyous :Le militant Aziz Amami alias @Azyyoz a été arreté par la police parce qu'il aurait sorti une voyous sur les bananes devant un poste de police.Il a été emmené au poste de police rue Yougoslavie et il a été violemment tabassé.

Rappel: Aucune loi en Tunisie n'autorise la police à tabasser-violenter ou même insulter un citoyen même s'il est CRIMINEL. Merci de noter toute atteinte aux droits de l'homme de la part de la police hors la loi.

This afternoon, September, 14, eight months after the escape of the dictator Ben Ali, the police continues to act as thugs: the militant Azyz Amamy (@Azyyoz) was arrested by the police for telling a joke on bananas in front of a police station. He was taken to the police station (Yougoslavie Street) where he was brutally beaten.

Reminder: There is no law in Tunisia that allows the police to beat or even insult a citizen even if he is a criminal. Please record any human rights violation committed by the police and not acting according to the law

The assault on Amamy outraged Tunisian netizens, who once again were reminded that the fight for freedom of speech was not over with the former President fleeing the country.

Here are some of their reactions on Twitter:

@slim404:Azyz @azyyoz vient de m'appeler. il est arrêté au poste de police rue Yougoslavie. Je vais le voir.

@slim404: Azyz @azyyoz has just called me. He is arrested in a police station (Yougoslavie Street). I will go see him

@slim404 Les policiers disent qu'ils ont relâché @azyyoz . Son téléphone est occupé.

@slim404: The police say they have released @azyyoz. The line is busy

@FaresAzzabi D'après des pages fb @azyyoz est arrêté pour avoir sorti une blague sur les bananes devant un policier! Qui confirme? @Zinga_ @Slim404

@FaresAzzabi: according to some Facebook pages, @azyyoz was arrested for inventing a joke on bananas in front of a police officer! any confirmation?

@Beheeddine: j'espère que @azyyoz portera plainte contre ses agresseurs .. blague ou pas .. ils n'ont pas le droit de le toucher .. #Tunisie

@Beheeddine: I hope that @azyyoz will file a complaint against his attackers..a joke or not.. they don't have the right to touch him..

@slim404: Je viensd'avoir @azyyoz au tel. Il a ete relâché. Il s'est fait tabasse. Il va porter plainte.

@slim404: Just had @azyyoz on the phone. He was released. He was beaten. He will file a complaint.

@MiDovSkyTN: Solidaire avec @Azyyoz

@MiDovSkyTN: standing in solidarity with @azyyoz.

@emnamejri: j'aimerai savoir nokta eli 9alha @Azyyoz 3al banane

@emnamejri: wonder what was the joke of @Azyyoz on bananas

Standing in solidarity with her fellow blogger, Insane wrote a poem [ar] dedicated to Amamy. Here is a short excerpt:

فيق يا عون يا ضابط يا رفيق ، فيق يا مدير : يا حسرة على زمان التغيير ، تضرب عزيز ينبتلك ألف عزيز ، أحنا اليوم نقرروا المصير قدّاش من عزيز وقدّاش من ثورة تلزمك باش تولي إنسان ؟
!

Wake up police officers, wake up companions, wake up officials: we are no longer in the “time of change” (when Ben Ali came to power he described his rule as “time of change”), you beat Azyz, you will have a thousand copies of Azyz; today we decide our destiny. [...] How many copies of Azyz and how many revolutions do you need to be become a Human?

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

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