Free Héla! Liberate the Tunisian Youth
Héla Boujneh, named the Person of the Future 2013 by the Tunisian Institute and Ambassador of France, coordinator of the Association for the Defense of Human Rights, professor of law, member of the Association of Tunisian Youth, administrator and representative of the international network, Active Generation—Tunisia, has come under the radar of the Tunisian police and is now facing two years in prison for demanding the application of the rule of law in a custody order case at the police station in Sousse.
She will be judge in the justice court of Sousse this Monday, September 15, 2014. We ask for her acquittal and for all charges against her to be dropped.
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Héla Boujneh, renowned Tunisian human rights activist was arrested by the police in Sousse while acting as the legal defense for her brother at the police station. Héla Boujneh was imprisoned for 24 hours during which time she was abused and threatened by a dozen police officers. She was held without any motive and was denied her right to speak to an attorney.
After this ordeal, the human rights activist was referred to the Public Prosecutor of Sousse and then brought before a judge who ordered her to appear before the Court of First Instance of Sousse on September 2.
Strategy to Muzzle the voices of Tunisian Youth
This flagrant violation of human rights is part of an overall strategy to silence the voices of Tunisian youth. Indeed, Héla Boujneh was a leading activist during the Jasmine Revolution that led to the fall of the police regime of President Ben Ali. With the campaign, “Tunisian youth: It’s not a lie, they are the knights of the future,” she fought to change the age limit of political participation from 35 to 30 to ensure youth representation in the country’s transition to democracy.
Recently, as a director of Active Generation, a global network of people engaged via the Internet to promote social progress and participatory democracy, Héla has launched “Yezzi”, a new campaign to denounce the recurrent sexual harassment in Tunisia, especially with regard to the complacency of the police vis-à-vis the aggressors.
All of her actions in defense of human rights make her a potential target of those who are against a free and democratic Tunisia. Active Generation welcomes and supports the spontaneous mobilization of democratic Tunisian youth and those who support human rights and democracy throughout the world to protest the arrest of Héla.
We demand that our comrade is released and that all charges against her are dropped. And we call on the Tunisian authorities to do everything possible to respect her human rights and to end this cycle of police abuse and intimidation.
We invite all of the development partners in Tunisia and all NGOs and associations that are committed to human rights to fight for the physical integrity of all activists, particularly for Héla.
No state has the right to violate human rights in name of “national security.”
This mobilization cannot be done without the mass involvement of people. Active Generation invites you to sign and share this petition!
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