Communiqué of the Communist Party of the Workers of Tunisia

The Communist Party of the Workers of Tunisia, PCOT, informs public opinion that its spokesperson, Hamma Hammami, was attacked with rocks by four agents of the political police. The events took place this morning, at about 11 AM, while he was leaving his residence at El-Manar I in Tunis together with his 9-year-old daughter Sarah. The perpetrators of these acts were part of a group of agents who have kept him under permanent surveillance. They also threatened and insulted him using filthy words, in front of his daughter, and then fled.

For about two weeks, some ten agents of the political police have kept under daily surveillance the entrance of the city where Hamma Hammami and his spouse, the lawyer and fighter for human rights, Radhia Nasraoui live. Last week, he received several anonymous phone calls which originated from phone booths. The author of the calls insulted and threatened him, demanding that he stop his involvement in the protests in Redeyef and the mining area of Gafsa. [The region of Gafsa, in the southwest of the country, is rich in phosphates. At the beginning of June, there were sporadic demonstrations denouncing unemployment, the increase in the cost of living, corruption and cronyism. On June 6 in Redeyef, clashes between the police and demonstrators led to one person dead and several injured. – Tunisia Watch]

These criminal acts are taking place at a time of general repression against the Tunisian people. Their aim is particularly to silence the social protest in the mining area in the southwest and in Feriana in the center west of the country. Their goal is to prevent all actions of solidarity with the victims of this repression.

At the end of its rope, the dictatorial regime of General Ben Ali is once again showing its inability to face the social and political demands of the Tunisian people.

All the security measures, the use of live ammunition against peaceful demonstrators, remain its only response to the demands of the population.

This repressive policy is no longer creating fear, especially among the youth, which is increasingly standing up to defend its right to employment, freedom and dignity.

The PCOT, while energetically condemning the attack perpetrated against its spokesperson, calls on all democratic forces and all the Tunisian people to unite to confront the increased fascisation of political life and the resurgence of physical assaults, arbitrary arrests, torture and unfair trials.

Tunis, June 17, 2008

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