One of Tunisia’s most prominent feminist and minority rights campaigners has said that her home has come under repeated attack by the same group of men over the last 24 hours in the face of apparent police indifference.
Amina Sboui, also known as Amina Tyler was at home last night when she said a group of five men tried to break into her house. The attackers were young men from Sidi Bou Said who knew Sboui from the area. According to Sboui, one of the five men was a police officer.
The activist explained that her residence is home to six other members of the LBGTI community, two of which were present during the attacks. Her other flatmates are visiting their families for Eid celebrations and have been warned by Sboui not to return.
The first attack is said to have occurred at 8 o’clock last night when the house’s occupants became aware of a group of men attempting to break in. According to Sboui, the group of men began by insulting her, before progressing to threatening her with violence and threatening her life.
The 21 year-old summoned the police who, “were not helpful at all”. According to Sboui, the police responded within 15 minutes of her call, leading the group of men to depart following a ‘very brief” conversation.
However, within a few minutes of the police leaving the site, the men returned and Sboui and her flatmates again contacted the Police. On this occasion, one of the men was arrested, but according to Sboui was later released without investigation.
At approximately 9 o’clock, one hour after the initial attack, the men returned with knives and again began to threaten Sboui and the house’s occupants. Describing herself as intensely distressed, Sboui left the house and made her way to the police station. However, Sboui told Tunisia Live the police failed to investigate her claims telling her to “go home.”
Sboui saw two of the men the following morning while having coffee with friends and again contacted the police. It is not currently clear what action has been taken.
Speaking to Tunisia Live, Sboui said, “Tunisian police are homophobic. They did not help me one single bit mentally, or physically. They are just homophobic. (there was) No support.” As Sboui was talking, she was accompanying her lawyer to the police station in an effort to secure some form of action against her alleged attackers.
The Ministry of the Interior have yet to respond to Tunisia Live’s requests for comment on this matter.
Nourjahen is an intern in the Tunisia Live newsroom. A graduate of the US Department of State's, Yes program, Nourjahen is fluent in English, German, Arabic and Fren