Four Tunisian prison warders have each received four-year jail sentences for torturing a prisoner so severely he eventually had to have both legs amputated, court sources said Saturday.
Former boxer Ali Mansouri, in jail for a criminal offence, was beaten and chained up in his cell in March to force him to give up a hunger strike.
In April he was hospitalized and both legs had to be amputated, allegedly as a result of his maltreatment.
Mansouri's case was taken up by the Tunisian Human Rights League.
The court also ordered the Tunisian government authorities to pay 300,000 dinars ($210,000 /248,000 euros) to Mansouri in compensation.
The victim's lawyer said later the judgment was unprecedented. For the first time the Tunisian state was being made to share responsibility for tortures committed in Tunisian jails, he said.
In Paris last November, Tunisian students gave a graphic account of beatings, rape and torture they said they had endured at the hands of Tunisian security police after being arrested for taking part in protests.
"The torture is systematic and institutionalized. It is carried out round-the-clock on men and women," said Imen Derouiche: "The women are sometimes beaten in front of their children....Some who are pregnant are beaten until they lose the baby."
The Committee for the Respect of Freedom and Human Rights in Tunisia recalled that Tunisia had ratified the international convention against torture.
Tunisia has come under mounting scrutiny for its record on human rights. Last July, three human rights activists from the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and Amnesty International were barred from entering the country – TUNIS (AFP)
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