Archive for November, 2011

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We met Ramzi by chance. He stopped us while we were filming on Bourgeba Avenue and introduced himself as an activist and contributor to the well-known blog, Nawat.
Ramzi has been following the cases of the people who were wounded during the January revolution that saw the ouster of President Zine ElAbedine Ben Ali. He says he knows about more than 1,000 cases of which 100 required emergency care and a dozen were in critical condition. 
We agreed to meet again. 
A few hours later Ramzi calls to invite us to Nawat’s offices to meet some of the wounded who have decided to go on a hunger strike. 
We meet 20-year-old Wael Garafi who was shot by a sniper while attending the funeral of Mohamad Amin, the first young man to have been killed in Hay al-Zouhour in Qassrein. 
Wael was transferred to a hospital, than to a clinic and then sent home before he was re-admitted to a hospital. During this time, he underwent three failed operations, was in a coma for five days and finally asked that his leg be amputated when he realized that keeping it could cost him his life.
"I haven’t got anything from this country. At first I was happy, but now when I see what is happening and where we have reached, I regret everything. I regret all what I have done," he said.
Wael was being treated at the military hospital but left it because he said medical attention was poor. 
He and his friends are asking that the government bear the expenses of their medical treatment. 
On the issue of the wounded, the head of the Arab institute for human rights says that once the political decision is taken an independent committee will be formed to look into this issue. 

"There have been achievements in Tunisia lately, but enforcing human rights rules requires time. It also requires us to focus on special issues, such as transitional justice. Re-opening past cases, exposing human rights violations issues, punishing those who violated human rights, and compensating the victims, then applying justice – this all needs time. Naturally this has not progressed much in Tunisia," the head of the Arab Institute for Human Rights in Tunis said.

Although much of the dark era that engulfed Tunisia over the last few decades ended with the ouster of President Ben Ali, the battle for ensuring the protection of human rights is far from over.

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