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Interview with Ben Brick, the journalist who shakes a dictatorshp
» It Is a Dictator of Second Division »
For ANA NAVARRO PETER, in Paris
Tuesday, 9 of May of 2000
Taoufik Ben Brick, the journalist who is to shake the regimen of President Ben Ali, not seems to wait very of the Portuguese presidency of the European Union nor of António Guterres, president of the Socialist International. » If I wait some thing, is of the Portuguese people, who cannot receive from open arms a dictator from second division. » Because » to receive it it is as a species of contribution, it is to deviate the look of its Ministry of the Inward that if it transformed into a torture plant, is to close the eyes to a State of milicianos that enjaulou Tunisia in gigantic ‘ goulag ‘ « .
Tunisino journalist Taoufik Ben Brick started a strike of the hunger has one month more than, to complain to the tunisino ditatorial regimen the restitution of its passport, in a symbolic combat for the expression and circulation freedom. Today, its share shakes the regimen of president Ben Ali. Sponsored person for the organization » Reporteres sans Frontières « , Ben Brick is hospitalized in Paris, with a visa of three months granted by France » for humanitarian ratios « . But this journalist humanist continues the strike of the hunger, to save its brother. Very emagrecido, the aguenta journalist it the cigarette cost – of mark » 20 of March « , date of the independence of Tunisia.
PUBLIC – What its strike of the hunger would make it to stop this, that already goes in as the month, and that it starts to threaten its life?
TAOUFIK BEN BRICK – I want that they free my Jelal brother, who started a strike of the wild hunger, without sugar, without water, without assistance. Jelal was jailed when trying to defend one velhinho and a woman who was to be spanked in a squadron. It has a bronquite, the policies had broken the nose, and suffer to it from an infection. A strike thus can kill a person in one week. Jelal is as if he was my gémeo brother, exactly is new of four years. My brother likes Person very, and was it who gave to me to know this poet travelling of the soul. As Person, my brother also adores to write to the table of a coffee. It left eight years passed in the clandestinidade as redacção head of a clandestine periodical, to manage my strike of the hunger. He is for my cause that Jelal risks the life.
P. – Wait some gesture of Portugal, that presides over now to the European Union, or of António Guterres, as president of the Socialist International, during the visit of Ben Ali?
R. – I expect some thing, is of the Portuguese people. This people of sailors whom he knew to defy the death, cannot receive from open arms a dictator from second division. This people, who made the » Revolution of the cravos « , cannot accept a dictator so mediocre as Ben Ali. To receive it is as a species of contribution, is to deviate the look of its Ministry of the Inward that if it transformed into a torture plant, is to close the eyes to a State of milicianos that enjaulou Tunisia in gigantic » goulag « . If I wait some thing, is alone of this people, whom a Prémio gave to Portugal Nobel of Literature, Saramago, that that knows so well what it is a dictatorship, that it knows as the dictatorship mutilates the language of a people, knows what it means to fight against the absolutism.
P. – What it is the dictatorship of Ben Ali?
R. – Ben Ali is a little as the » Creature » of Frankenstein. Since its ascension to the power, he does not have more poetry, he does not have more music, he does not have more cinema, he does not have literature. The tunisinos were célebres for vita its » dolce « , today live as if they had suffered a lobotomia. The world saw as Ben Ali managed the funeral of Bourguiba: it hindered an entire people of if collecting and honoring, a last time, the first president of modern Tunisia. Other times, Ben Ali makes to remember me the nurse-head of the film of Forman, » Flying on a nest of cuckoos « , that she does not support the impulse of life of McMurphy: Ben Ali also wants to deprive us of feelings and to transform us into vegetables. For this, it neutralized all the institutions of the civil society and today alone they remain the » outside-da-law « , as the National Advice of the Freedoms, or as Amhed Hamami, who lives in the clandestinidade since has two years, when its only cr!ime was to fight with a esferográfica. Hamami is husband of Radiates Nasraoui, the greater and more courageous lawyer of Tunisia, and it cannot go to the funeral of the mother, such as its son does not know been born has 18 months.
P. – its strike of the hunger became in a symbol that shakes the dictatorship. What unlaces wait?
R. – Outcome? I do not know. » It » started to speak in me, my name inhabited » the its » mouth… I find that now I am as the » Nightmare » of the picture of Goya, to weigh to it in the stomach, because plus nobody it can say that it did not see its face hateful.
P. – and to follow?
R. – Before more, I acted I eat poet. Before being journalist, I am poet, and only try to show to the people who the king goes naked Is therefore that I feel myself as a futebolista that fintou with the ball until the a great area and that penalti offered one. But now, they are others that must mark golo. Even because, if I continue to play, my adepts go to whistle me: » It passes the ball, already it arrives » In any mode, now it is the moment them politicians to play the aggressors.
P. – and they exist?
R. – They exist, yes. But she is necessary that if they raise of the bank of the substitutes and that an invisible trainer puts them to play. She is that they lack alone three minutes for the end of the game… I think about Moncef Marzouki, that I consider I eat the » Nelson Mandela » of Tunisia: she is the current spokesman of the National Advice of the Freedoms and old president of Liga Tunisina of the Human Rights, a writer, a doctor who are forbidden to exert medicine, and a courageous man. I wait that it will arise itself – and that he does not have who hinders it to make it, because, unhappyly, in the opposition of Tunisia he has general more of the one than welded.
I also think about the great moral consciences, as the great thinker Hicham Djaiet, or noutro man of the same state of hardeness, Mohammed Talbi. But I also appeal to the great artistic consciences – I think about the theater man that is Fadhel Jaïbi, about the musician Mohammed Garfi…
P. – But she will be that these people are made use…
R. – She is now, or never. April as I could a great breach. If these people do not enter in the breach, then that they close the mouth forever, and that they continue to dormitar, while expects for one another generation. She is therefore that I appeal over all to the tunisina youth that, it yes, is capable to shake the regimen of Ben Ali. Youth, and » arraia-small « , tunisina » the arraia-small » fabulosa, that they are risen against Ben Ali. and in this interview I ask for to the Portuguese people who exerts a pressure on its Government so that the maneuver of Ben Ali does not result, to have waited that Portugal exerted the European presidency to dislocate the Lisbon. I find that the governments that receive it finish for being collaborating of the regimen – they are they who finish for helping Ben Ali to continue to torture with the European manna that she fills with earth in its pocket and that she serves to set the carrascos of its policy.
P. – Sabe that it has who thinks that it has for times disfigured words one bocadinho?
R. – Perhaps it they are. But it will be that the Portuguese military, and the resistant Portuguese » had not been disfigured » when lying down below the dictatorship? E later, had been the policies of Ben Ali that had spanked my woman, and that they had spanked one of the women most delicious of Tunisia, Sihem Ben Sedrine, the directora of the Aloès publishing company; they had been the policies of the regimen that the French journalists had spanked, Swiss, Algerian, that they came to support me, and they are they who make of Tunisia immense » goulag « . How if it can accept to press the hand to a despot of incultos, who does not love nor literature, nor the poetry? They ask to it, in Lisbon, if it knows Person, it, who finish to jail one gotten passionate for Fernando Pessoa, my brother.
P. – the occidental capitals have closed the eyes to the ferocidade of the regimen of Ben Ali, preferring to see in it an efficient barrier to the progression of the islamismo.
R. – the adds between tunisinos islamistas and of the remaining portion of the world donates not have matching Arab .I know them almost all since my times of student. I arrived to fight against them with a bar of iron, and them they had put me K.O. in one would pancadaria. But, in Tunisia, it had an intellectual classroom and a unionism that had been, in the reality, the great barrier to a radix islamismo. Ben Ali pulled out us our combat, that was a healthy combat, because the islamistas had, in general, finished for fighting only with esferográficas. Ben Ali tortured them, killed many of them and pursued them, only because they had a different opinion. I am adversary of them, but who can accept that a mother or a wife of a man is violated alone because this man is a islamista?
The Force of the Verb
Taoufik Ben Brick, tunisino journalist of 39 years, correspondent in Tunes of the periodical French catholic » La Croix » and of the European news agencies Infosud and Syfia, makes a strike of the hunger for the freedom, and the dictatorship of President Ben Ali is unmasked, to the point to be shaken. A handful of responsible of the security forces imprisoned and had been jailed in a section of high security of the civil arrest of Tunes, after having criticized the attitude of the power. For its side, the head of the national guard, general Gmati, was dismissed for Ben Ali.
Despite the indefectible bracket the French organization Reporters without Borders, although to be journalists Arab, and over all Algerian, who are in the aircraft marshalling area of a solidarity without feeds the Ben Brick, it is necessary ouviz it to say to its inbound France, to perceive the one that point its words are aceradas weapons: » I come to drag for France my strike of the hunger and to testify of Tunisia to mártir, this quiet Algeria. It wanted to find Chirac and to count Tunisia to it (…) whose stars are Mohamed Ganzouhi, secretary of State of the Security, and its accomplices of the torture. It wanted to state the abandonment to it of the rare tunisinos that had dared to fight with esferográficas. »
Of start, Ben Brick protested against the persecutions of that she is victim for having denounced in its articles the breakings of the human rights in Tunisia: » Since he has two years that I do not go to visit my mother, because I have fear of it to take for house carraças that they all follow me for the side. I go to the coffee, and the policies go with me; I go to the beach, them go with me. Already I do not dare to leave there with my children, because in May of the last year they estilhaçaram glasses of the carriage of my woman, with my children inside! New it had four months « , said us the journalist, in its room of hospital, Paris.
The restitution of the passport was one of its initial claims, but the combat of Taoufik now aims at to protect the brother, in strike of the wild hunger in the dungeons of Ben Ali and sick person. But the symbolic value of these strikes of the hunger exceeds far of the combat of a humanist for its right to the freedom. In one month and way, the world was to know that
Tunisia has a dictator of » second division » and that the born in the kingdom torture in the arrests of a regimen corrupto. Without concessions, the journalist accuses with » colaboracionismo » the governments that receive Ben Ali or that they keep silent before the persecutions of the regimen. E considers that the hour of others arrived to be arisen and to fight.
In the Shade of Bourguiba
Tuesday, 9 of May of 2000
» the 7 of November of 1987, dawn, the tunisinos had been alliviated and livened up when knowing of the constitutional ascension to the highest executive rank of Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. »
It is thus that an official profile of the President of Tunisia starts that in its seven pages practically does not make reference to reference the predecessor of Ben Ali, Habib Bourguiba, senão to speak of its weakness caused » for the age and the illness « . Ben Ali became tunisino President in a » medical coup d etat « , when Bourguiba was declared » incapable to govern » for a together doctor. Ben Ali is the leader of Tunisia since then.
He was born in 1936. Still new it was joined the party Neo-Destour de Bourguiba, that fought against the French colonialismo, and would come to be part of the Army. It studied in France and later in North American military schools, where if it permitted in Electrónica Engineering. In 1964, the Department of Military Security created, that directed during ten years. It was later military attaché in Morocco and Spain, and ambassador in the Polónia. It returned to the country to be secretary of State of the National Security. In 1986, minister of the Inward was nominated, in the following year, first-minister, and later President. Already head of State, Ben Ali promised democratic reforms: between them, he finished with the rank of lifetime President and amnistiou all the prisoners politicians.
But if the position of Ben Ali is not lifetime, at least seems: President since 87, passed for elections in 1989, 94 and 99 – always with concluding absolute maiorias. In the passed year, percent of the votes was reeleito with 99.4. Its regimen is accused to be more repressive and to exert greater control on » it measured them » that of Bourguiba.
In the 13 years of its leadership, Ben Ali looked for to delete the memory of Bourguiba, the » father of Tunisia « . Its statues had been removed, the on national holidays the dates of its life had been modified or abolished, its name almost forbidden to pronounce. The cult of the personality of Bourguiba was substituted by the one of Ben Ali, whose photograph is omnipresente in everything what it says respect to Tunisia.
But the shade of Bourguiba is remained on Ben Ali: Ex-Presidente died this year, and, although the mediática covering of its funeral to have been reduced to the minimum, ten a thousand people had been gifts, in a challenge to the power. The death of Ex-Presidente seems to have marked the beginning of some plea the Ben Ali: since then, according to reviewed » Middle East International « , it had strikes of workers and students. Moreover, in a game of soccer between the Olympique de Beja and the Esperance de Tunes, claque of the house, irritated with the arbitrator, cried out » slogans » anti-government, following confrontations of that dead ones had resulted at least three.
President of Tunisia in visit of State Portugal while its regimen is contested by opponents
Ben Ali in 24 Hours and Stocking
For Peter Ribeiro
Tuesday, 9 of May of 2000
The President of a magrebino country arrives the Lisbon today where the women have right to vote but the elections are little democratic. Zine Ben Ali, leader of Tunisia since 1987, comes to strengthen the económica cooperation with the UE – but the question of the human rights hangs on its visit. The PCP and the Tablet of Left promise to boycott. In Paris, a journalist is in strike of hunger against the dictator who knocked down Bourguiba.
The visit of State of the President of Tunisia Portugal will have to last 24 hours and stocking: Zine Ben Ali arrives today at the four of the afternoon and tomorrow returns the Tunes to 16h30. One visits shortness, during which Ben Ali will go itself to find with the Portuguese President and the first-minister and will be received in the Assembleia of the Republic. But they follow it the echoes of the plea to its regimen, particularly of the voice incómoda of the journalist Ben Brik – and the parties more to the left in the specter Portuguese politician do not go to be in its reception.
The invitation of Jorge Sampaio, Ben Ali comes Portugal for the second time (the first one was in 1993). President of Tunisia has 13 years, its regimen is of idiosincráticos of the Arab world. Tunisia is an Islamic country where the religion is not associated the politics, and where the equality between the sexos is recognized for law. Its moderate positions in the international scene and its relative económica modernization (it has the higher room per capita GIP of Africa) had made of Tunisia a privileged partner of the Ocidente in the Magrebe.
On the other hand, the regimen of Ben Ali is contested by activistas of human rights inside and is of the country. Its successive re-elections for 99 maiorias above of percent make to distrust of the democraticidade of a regimen that is only ately pluripartidário. Reports of the International Amnistia and the International Federacy of the Leagues of Human Rights say that the opponents are watched by policies the civilian, have its cut telephone or are forbidden to leave the country. Most recent, and mediático, of these cases she is of the journalist the Ben Brik (to see texts in these pages).
In reply to a questionnaire of the Lusa agency, Ben Ali defends that its country » makes of the rights of the man, the tolerance and the moderation, as well as of the cooperation and solidarity, values seats in its politics and its culture « , adding that the critical ones are part of a » campaign (…) of fake of the realities and the processes « .
How much the Ben Brik, the daily Frenchman » Libération » cited a curious program in the tunisina TV where the President if directed the masters of the press, asking to them: » Because he is that vocês they had not written on the case? In Tunisia, everything can be said. If to calhar vocês they have is bad journalists. [ magnifies them 20 dinares three stories ]. It [ Ben Brik ] wants a passport? That he goes to a squadron of the policy. He wants a telephone? That the part to the post offices. I am not mailman. » Ben Ali concluded saying that » she was herself journalist, would have written [ not more than ] four or five strings » on the strike of hunger of Ben Brik.
PCP and BE boycott
The question of the human rights will be able to influence on the Agreement of Association between European União (UE) and Tunisia, that a clause includes on the subject. Ben Ali, in the responses to the Lusa, said to intend of the UE » a pact of solidarity and development » in the bracket of the development of Africa. The tunisino leader wait of Portugal » a considerable bracket « , praising contributo Portuguese for » the implementation of the peace, the stability and the progress in Africa « , nominated in the » process of the concord in Angola and Moçambique « .
The program of the visit of Ben Ali includes a displacement to the Jerónimos, a private hearing with Jorge Sampaio and a slap-up meal offered for the Portuguese President; tomorrow, Ben Ali will be received by Almeida Santos and for the heads of the parliamentary groups in the Assembleia of the Republic (AIR), she lunchhes with António Guterres and she returns to Tunisia.
In the slap-up meal, the destined places will be vacant the representatives of the PCP and the Tablet of Esquerda (BE). The parliamentary leader of the PCP, Octávio Teixeira, will not be also present in the reception the Ben Ali foreseen for AIR, such as the member of the house of representatives of the BE Francisco Louçã, who said the PUBLIC: » the regimen of this President Ben Ali is of those regimes modernistas that very the European countries like, for its side industrialist, but that they finish for favoring the appearance of the Islamic fundamentalismo. »
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