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Release of Unauthenticated Prison-Sex Video Denounced in Defense of Tunisian Interior Minister

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Release of Unauthenticated Prison-Sex Video Denounced in Defense of Tunisian Interior Minister

Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh during the presentation of new ministers to the Constituent Assembly

A video was released January 18th, on Youtube and Facebook allegedly depicting the newly appointed Interior Minister “ Ali Laarayedh “ performing an intimate, possibly sexual, act with a fellow inmate in a prison cell. The video was supposedly filmed while he was a political prisoner detained within the Interior Ministry during the dictatorial reign of Tunisia's ousted President, Zine Abedine Ben Ali.

Samir Dilou, the spokesman of the interim government and a member of Ennahda, denounced the release of the video, and stated that it was a fabrication produced by the former regime. He also called upon the need to launch an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the video’s release. The Interior Ministry has refused to comment on the matter.

Laarayedh was a venerable opposition figure during the rule of Ben Ali (and a member of Tunisia’s Islamist political party “ Ennahda), who was severely punished for his resistance to the former regime. Laarayedh was imprisoned for nearly 15 years “ at least ten of which were spent in solitary confinement.

According to the French NGO Ban Public, within the cells of the Interior Ministry he was subjected to severe physical and psychological torture. His wife was abducted and sexually abused by security officials within Ben Ali’s regime – who filmed her naked – causing Laarayedh to have a nervous breakdown. In an interview with AFP Laarayedh stated, I almost died several times in the cells of the Ministry of the Interior.

During the Ben Ali era, videos of political prisoners performing sexual acts were commonly fabricated by the Interior Ministry to be used as a means of disparaging the regime’s political rivals in the future.

Samir Ben Amor, a lawyer affiliated with the Congress for the Republic Party (CPR), stated that the existence of such videos was recognized by the political opposition to the former regime, We knew that Ben Ali and his associates made these videos. However, publishing this information is deplorable and insulting,” Ben Amor stated.

Tunisian Interior Ministry

Jalel Brick, a firebrand who has become notorious for publishing videos of his politicized rants “ riddled with curses and inappropriate language – over the internet, has claimed responsibility for releasing the 45 minute-long video of the Interior Minister. I mainly did it to expose them, and to deliver payback for what they have done to others, said Brick, referring to the political mudslinging that has been exchanged between members of Ennahda and the opposition.

“Ennahda only won because Qatar was supporting them; they were using mosques to influence people. They are illegitimate,” Brick stated.

Reaction to the release of the video within the political sphere has been met with a resounding condemnation of the politically motivated denigration of the Interior Minister – from both the ruling coalition and the opposition.

Jounaidi Abed Jaouad, a member of the Democratic Modernist Pole Party (PDM “ a party among the opposition to the coalition government) and its deputy spokesperson, condemned the release of the video as shameful. He also reinforced the notion that this manner of character assassination was a deplorable tactic of the former regime, and that the new Tunisia must strive to hold itself to a higher moral standard.

“This act was totally immoral and unacceptable. We condemn these undignified acts. Our revolution started in an honorable manner and must retain its dignity,” he added.

Ben Amor of CPR, reiterated that releasing the video was in clear violation of privacy laws, and that legal action is fully within the periphery of the Interior Minister's rights.

Brick asserted his conviction that the video was authentic, but was unwilling to provide the source of the video “ claiming only that it was delivered to him by a Tunisian student who wished to remain anonymous. The authenticity of Brick's claim over the release of the video has yet to be verified.

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  • Jeanette Kiss

    Well, hopefully Tunisians will soon find out who are these guys at Nahda, and this will also be a good lesson to Islamists.

    We have seen similar examples in the USA, where ultra-conservative, ultra-Christian politicians involved in similar sex scandals.

    As the saying goes “God does not beat one with a stick”.

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