يوم 17 جويلية 2023 تم إيقاف الشاب رشاد طمبورة داخل سيارة الأجرة من قبل قوات الأمن الداخلي أثناء ذهابه لمزاولة مهنته
حيث تم اقتياده إلى فرقة الأبحاث بالمنستير ليبقى مدة 4 أيام على ذمة التحقيق لرسمه رسم جداري ناقد لرئيس الجمهورية فيما يتعلق بموجة العنصرية والكراهية التي عاشتها تونس ضد المهاجرات والمهاجرين من إفريقيا جنوب الصحراء.
وفي تاريخ 31 جانفي 2024 قامت محكمة الاستئناف إقرار الحكم الإبتدائي والقاضي بسجنه سنتين.
تم رصد وتوثيق حالة الانتهاك عبر اتصال جمعية تقاطع من أجل الحقوق والحريات بشقيقة ضحية الانتهاك بتاريخ 4/1/2024.
Two-year-sentence against Rached Tamboura for drawing a mural criticizing the President of the Republic during a period of escalating campaigns of racism and hatred against male and female migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.
Name: Rached Tamboura
Occupation: Student at the Arabic Calligraphy University in Tunis
Charges: Committing a heinous act against the President of the Republic as required by Article 67 of the Penal Code.
Incidents of Violation:
On July 17, 2023, the young man “Rached Tamboura” was arrested inside a Taxi by the internal security forces while on his way to work. Subsequently, he was taken to the Investigating Brigade in Monastir to stay for 4 days pending investigation for drawing a mural criticizing the President regarding the wave of racism and hatred faced in Tunisia against sub-Saharan migrants.
In this regard, Rached remained under investigation for 4 days without his family knowing, as stated by his sister, after communicating with Intersection Association for Rights and Freedoms. The family learned of Rached’s arrest on July 21, 2023, through the taxi driver who witnessed the apprehension. In addition, Rached’s sister clarified that the internal security forces had long ago confiscated the “stamp” the violation victim used to draw on the wall following their presence at the family home.
Rached remained henceforth in custody and was later sentenced in a preliminary ruling on December 4, 2023. The Court of First Instance in Monastir sentenced Rached to 2 years in prison on the grounds of his mural, which was deemed as committing a heinous act against the head of the state by virtue of Article 67 of the Penal Code. Rached was then transferred to the Monastir prison, where he has currently announced taking escalating measures of protest against his imprisonment by going on a severe hunger strike and sewing his mouth in protest against the deprivation of his freedom and the injustice he is facing.
On January 31, 2024, the Court of Appeals affirmed the initial verdict, sentencing him to two years in prison.
Human Rights Violations:
The seizure of art tools and the two-year-sentence of the violation victim “Rached Tamboura” due to the criminalization of his art critical of the President constitutes a violation of freedom of opinion and expression entrenched in international treaties and conventions, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which stipulated in Article 19 that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.” Moreover, Tunisian national law constitutionally guarantees freedom of opinion and expression under Article 37, which states, “Freedom of opinion, thought and expression are guaranteed.” Furthermore, Article 22 states, “ The state guarantees to its citizens individual and collective rights and freedoms and provides conditions for a dignified life.”
These violations emphasize the ongoing policies of silencing and restricting citizens to prevent them from exercising their right to freedom of opinion and expression. In fact, the imposed constraints have shifted the enjoyment of freedom of opinion and expression from being a principle to an exception, deviating from the essence of the right. This contradicts Comment 34 of 2011 of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which clarified that paragraph 2 of the aforementioned Article 19 stipulates “the protection of all forms of expression and the means of their dissemination. Such forms include spoken, written, and sign language and non-verbal expressions such as images and objects of art. Means of expression include books, newspapers, pamphlets, posters, banners, dress, and legal submissions. They include all forms of audio-visual as well as electronic and internet-based modes of expression.”
The violation case was monitored and documented through a communication between Intersection Association for Rights and Freedoms and the victim’s sister on January 4, 2024.