Ben Saïd case: First trial for torture committed in Tunisia

Press release
en fr

On 15 December 2008, an unprecedented decision was delivered by the Cour
d’Assises (Criminal Court) in Bas-Rhin, Strasbourg : Khaled Ben Saïd,
former Vice-Consul of Tunisia in Strasbourg, was sentenced to eight years in
prison for having given the order to commit crimes of torture against the
plaintiff, Ms. Gharbi. He gave this order while he was Superintendant at the
Jendouba police station in Tunisia.

This is the first time that a Tunisian official has been charged – and
sentenced! - for such crimes, that were systematic under Ben Ali’s regime.
Through this trial, which was made possible in France in application of the
universal jurisdiction mechanism, the victim was able to obtain justice. And
beyond, the whole repressive Tunisian apparatus was brought into question.

FIDH and its member organization in France, the French League for Human
Rights (LDH), were civil parties, and supported Ms. Gharbi throughout the
proceedings that led to the trial and conviction of Khaled Ben Saïd.

But the Prosecutor appealed the sentence "on instruction of the Ministry of
Justice”. The appeal trial will be held before the Cour d’Assises (Criminal
Court) of Meurthe and Moselle.

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