02 October 2012 10:12 am | | 0


Share     Share       Share     Share  

The recent detention by police of Ansar al-Shariah member Hassan Brik has raised questions about the legal basis for his detention. Brik is the head of Ansar al-Shariah’s outreach committee and alleged right-hand-man to leader Abu Iyadh, currently wanted by police.

“Release Hassan Brik. Unjustly detained.” (Taken from Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia)

After Brik was taken into police custody on September 23, the Ministry of the Interior emphasized that he had not been charged with any crime. In a previous statement to Tunisia Live, Lotfi Hidouri, press attaché for the Ministry, said that Brik was brought in for questioning in relation to the attacks on the US Embassy on September 14.

Brik had previously given an interview with Shems FM, after which police surrounded the building in an attempt to take him into custody. The situation was only remedied when Brik’s lawyer intervened.

Officials from the Ministry of the Interior said that the detention did not stem from charges already filed. That Brik was held for questioning in this compulsory manner raises issues of both human rights and the legality of his being held.

Riadh Guerfali, a founding member of the news agency Nawaat and professor of law, explained that there are a few ways in the Tunisian legal system that people can be detained without being charged.

The first, he said, is called garde a vue. Under this practice, people can be detained for 48 hours based on suspicion. The detention can only be renewed once. The other kind of detention, detent preventive, is used when there is evidence that the person could destroy evidence or that the person is threatening somebody, among other exceptions. This detention can reach a maximum of six months, and can be renewed in affairs involving terrorism.

Laws in most countries detail what circumstances people can be detained under and for how long. The laws of detention have broad implications in a country that struggles to rebuild trust between the public and security forces, seen by many to be a remnant of the Ben Ali regime.

Conservative Muslims were targeted during the Ben Ali era, often held without charge simply for practicing their beliefs. While many Tunisians are suspicious of Brik because of his membership of the controversial group Ansar al-Shariah and relationship with its leader, the question still remains as to whether Brik is guilty of any crime. While Iyadh is currently wanted by police, it is not clear if Brik is wanted as well and, if so, for what.

Skander Boughani, a conservative Tunisian Muslim, recounted to Tunisia Live a time when he was detained by police:

“Once I was arrested. They broke into my house as I slept, without any approval from the prosecutor. When I went to jail, many people were arrested without any proof, not even photographic evidence.”

Boughani does not identify as a Salafist or a member of Ansar al-Shariah but is sympathetic to their claims of persecution. To him, the security system of Ben Ali is still firmly in place when people are detained without first being charged with a crime.

“We don’t know if it’s legal or not. We need media to talk about and explain the situation. Tell us: Under which law this arrest was made? Under whose jurisdiction? We need more explanations. Are we still under the regime of Ben Ali or have we moved on?”

Boughani continued, “In the law and in the religion, we know that the person is innocent until proven guilty, but now with with Salafists it is different. The Salafist is guilty until he proves his innocence,” he said, adding that, “Media always takes one side of the issue. If the person they arrest seems like a Salafist, they’re not interested in his side of the story.”

Numerous follow up calls were made to the Ministry of the Interior to confirm Brik’s continued detention and inquire about the legal grounds surrounding it. The Ministry of Interior refused to comment. A post on Ansar al-Shariah’s Facebook page dated September 28 reads “Free Hassan Brik, who was unlawfully detained.”

Share     Share       Share     Share  

  From the same category

            

Politicians Say They’ll Reduce Their Salaries, Citizens Shrug

Israelis Allowed in Tunisia, Prime Minister Announces

Tunisia Starts First Post-Revolution Census

Students Leaving Tunisian High Schools Face Difficult Choice

            

‘I Too Burned a Police Station,’ Online Activists Declare

Landfill Grows as Citizens Suffer: ‘We’ve Taken as Much as We’re Going To’

New Areas Around Chaambi Declared Military Zones

Pollution Ravages Old Port of Tunis

            

NCA Approves Judicial Body, Looks Ahead to Electoral Law

Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte

Members ‘Freeze’ NCA Participation Over Reduced Sentences for Ben Ali Officials

Ben Ali Officials To Be Released in Revolution Killings Case


Leave Feedback


  Follow us

Connect on YouTube Connect on Google+ Connect to itunes Subscribe via RSS Feed



  Latest Videos


Play Video

Motocross Racers in the Forests of Bizerte, Tunisia

Bizerte, the northernmost city in Africa, hosted the fourth round of the...

Play Video

Endangered Whale Brought Ashore in Tunis Suburb

Onlookers in the popular tourist spot of Sidi Bou Said, near Tunis,...

Play Video

'Kima Enti:' Mixing Tunisian Traditions With Modern Design

"Kima Enti" is a hand-made art and design project launched by independent...

Play Video

One-Year Anniversary of Chokri Belaid's Death

On February 6, 2014, family and supporters of slain Tunisian politician Chokri...

Play Video

Klay BBJ explains his arrest

Tunisia Live's Nissaf Slama interviews rapper Klay BBJ on his music, arrest,...



Tabbed Structure - Regular
‘I Too Burned a Police Station,’ Online Activists...
(4213 Views)
Tunisian Kidnapped in Libya: ‘They Can Kill Me’...
(4189 Views)
Landfill Grows as Citizens Suffer: ‘We’ve Taken as...
(3789 Views)
Students Leaving Tunisian High Schools Face Difficult Choice...
(3556 Views)
Tunisia Starts First Post-Revolution Census...
(2335 Views)
Israelis Allowed in Tunisia, Prime Minister Announces...
(2114 Views)
Politicians Say They’ll Reduce Their Salaries, Citizens Shrug...
(364 Views)
 
Politicians Say They’ll Reduce Their Salaries, Citizens Shrug...
Israelis Allowed in Tunisia, Prime Minister Announces...
Tunisia Starts First Post-Revolution Census...
Students Leaving Tunisian High Schools Face Difficult Choice...
‘I Too Burned a Police Station,’ Online Activists Declare...
Landfill Grows as Citizens Suffer: ‘We’ve Taken as Much as We’re...
Tunisian Kidnapped in Libya: ‘They Can Kill Me’...
Low Turnout and Mixed Feelings for Algerians Voting in Tunisia...
Update: Libyan Kidnappers Demand Militants’ Release...