22 July 2013 1:41 pm | | 9


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Feminism Attack member Sana Chamekh paints graffiti outside the Ministry of Women's Affairs, July 21, 2013. Image courtesy Femenism Attack Facebook page

Feminism Attack member Sana Chamekh paints graffiti outside the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, July 21, 2013. Image courtesy Feminism Attack Facebook page.

Three feminist activists were arrested Sunday night for painting graffiti on the wall of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs headquarters in Tunis. The activists claim that they were beaten by police during the arrest.

Sana Chamekh, Ines Zaghdoudi, and a woman known as “Abir” wrote “down with the ministry of the harem of the sultan’’ on the ministry wall. They are affiliated with the “libertine anarchist” feminist movement Feminist Attack.

According to its Facebook page, the movement addresses issues including stereotypes, the objectification of women, and violence through an “anarchic” framework. Graffiti is one tactic its members use to disseminate their message. 

Chamekh, Zaghdoudi, and “Abir” say that after writing the graffiti they were chased by police, who assaulted them before taking them to a nearby police station. Following their release later that night the activists, accompanied by human rights activists, headed to Charles Nicole Hospital to get treatment for injuries they claim were a result of the assault.

“We went to the ministry around sunset to tag the walls, and police noticed our presence and chased us,” Chamekh told Tunisia Live.

“They cornered us in an alley and started beating us and insulting us. They beat us in the street and kept hitting us on the way to the police station nearby. Not only did they beat us, but they were very offensive and kept calling us names.” 

“At the police station, we were asked to sign the police report but we refused to do so since they would not let us read it,” she added. “They only read to us saying that the charges are ‘attack on the ministry’ and ‘tagging the walls.’ Then we went to the hospital to get the certificates proving we were assaulted by the police.”

Chamekh said that they will use the medical certificates to file a complaint against the police officers who assaulted them.

“Things are different now. If a Tunisian citizen believes he was assaulted or offended by the police, he can file a complaint and seek justice,” Ministry of Interior spokesperson Mohamed Araoui told Tunisia Live.

Chamekh also explained the reason for targeting the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

“We are against the Ministry of Women that represents a system we denounce,” she said.

“This is our right to tag and express our opinion,” Abir told radio station Mosaique FM. “Even if we wrote something illegal, we should be punished according to the law and not beaten and insulted like what happened to us last night.”

Lina Ben Mhenni, Tunisian activist and blogger who was present when the women were released from the police station, denounced the treatment of the activists by the police.

She also condemned the hospital security agents’ treatment of those who were trying to film the release.

“I was not allowed to get in and they tried to take away my camera and when we went outside, we were also prevented from filming,” Mhenni told Mosaique FM.

“Since when do we need a permit to film outside a hospital? We thought we finally reached the stage where we enjoy the freedom of media, but this is not true after there was a clear attack on freedom of expression.”

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Comments (9)

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  1. Big al says:

    Tunisia was taken over by Islam a long time ago, when the salafists killed jews and christians. the resurgence of islam came when that guy burned himself alive. Because demons spirits are activated in islam because Islam wants the blood of it’s own sons, I know there’s enough suicide in Palestine, Islam wants the blood of tunisians sons, While Christianity is about God giving his son’s blood as a sacrifice for our sins, believe in jesus, got it

  2. zarboooot says:

    How dare the police arrest them….they were only tagging the walls of government offices.

    • england says:

      I think they did it for the arrest or detention but why should they be beaten? the police are not trained, they are spiteful and nasty. Not surprising when they probably dont feel supported. According to the article they did not object to the arrest so only the beating I hope that the police will be disciplines but i doubt it. Law and order is slowly breaking down.

      • Latifa says:

        they would say they were beaten even if they werent though. They are hoping for publicity, possibly even “asylum” in a foreign country!!!

        • england says:

          @ latifa who knows what they are looking for….what ever it is they say they have doctors certificates so I guess we will see. After all it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the police beat people…right

    • Latifa says:

      yeah since when should vandalism be a crime. In fact lets legalise theft, murder, banking (oops that one is legal)

  3. Me says:

    I think Tunisia is nearly done and I think the spiral downwards is sad and the way people are treated is getting much worse than before. At least people know what to expect under the last regime but the revolution gave hope which is quickly diminishing. the courts are making crazy decisions then reversing them. The levels of sentencing are not consistent or equal. These women may be offensive to some but the way they are treated is past disgusting. I am losing faith in the countries ability to rise and overcome the challenges that are mostly in my opinion being introduced and led by the government who have a agenda they think no one can see…..

  4. F.A says:

    IT’S LIBERTARIAN NOT LIBERTINE. GET YOUR SHIT STRAIGHT

    • Latifa says:

      GET YOURS STRAIGHT… they mean libertine…ie devoid of all morals. Anything goes and get your tits out attitude…Hence why they are so anti-muslim.

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