Map of Tunisian political prisons

Prison of Bizerte city
Letter of protest From the families of the prisoners of opinion, victims of anti-terror law

We, the families of the prisoners of opinion, victims of the anti-terror law, call upon you in order to intervene and lift the injustice inflicted on our children in the Tunisian prisons, who have been jailed in accordance with a non-constitutional and inhuman law- law of 10 December 2003- because of their “intentions” and not acts, nor even because of intentions harmful to the interest of fatherland. Read more…(In French, English and Arabic)

See also the video above of Ali Ben Salem, president of the LTDH section in the city of Bizerte, speaking about this unconstitutional law.

//Borj Erroumi// GREEN
Prison of Borj Erroumi, Bizerte
Dozens of people were charged under the new “anti-terrorism” law introduced in December 2003. They were sentenced to lengthy prison terms following unfair trials on “terrorism”-related charges. The trial failed to respect international fair trial standards. According to defence lawyers, most arrest dates in police reports were falsified, and in one case the place of arrest was falsified. There were no investigations into allegations that the defendants were beaten, suspended from the ceiling and threatened with rape. The convictions rested almost entirely on confessions extracted under duress. The defendants denied all charges brought against them in court.

See the case of The Youth of Bizerte, victims of the “anti-terrorism” law here. (in French)

Ali Ramzi Bettibi
He was arrested on 15 March 2005 while he was in an Internet café and sentenced to 4-years imprisonment for re-posting on a website an online statement from an obscure group promising bloodshed if Sharon attended the WSIS in Tunisia. “The Tunisian government is sending the message that downloading or re-posting information it finds objectionable can lead to prison,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at HRW “However deplorable this threat was, the mere act of reposting this information online should not be a crime.

For mor information about this case, see: HRW Letter to President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali on Ali Ramzi Bettibi
//Nadhor// 2
Nadhor Prison, Bizerte
Due to the narrowness of the locations of the 3 prisons in Bizerte you only see one marker on the map. In order to see them all you have to zoom in and use the satellite type of map
//El Haouareb// WHITE
Prison of El Haouareb, Kairouan
See the video above about the case of Mme Sihem Najjar wife of the political prisoner Hatem Zarrouk and here daughter Balkis (15 years old) who went on hunger strike at their home in Tunis during the month of November 2005 to protest against the imprisonment of Hatem Zarrouk captured in 2005 and condemned to six-year prison cell.

//9 avril// YELLOW
9 avril prison, Tunis
The new “anti-terrorism” law introduced in December 2003 contains a very broad definition of “terrorism”, that it may lead to unfair imprisonment. It also allows for the extension for an undefined period of pre-trial detention.
According the Tunisian Organisation against Torture about 200 young people have been arrested since May, accused of terrorism offences. Some people have also been extradited from European countries (Turkey, Italy, Luxembourg) in the recent months although it is uncertain if people have been rendered to Tunisia for torture in the war on terror.

See the flash animation about the case of Mahjoub Zayani who was arrested since april 2005 and held in the 9 April Prison in Tunis.

Gorjani detention centre in Tunis
Whilst being interrogated at the Gorjani detention centre, the detainees were reportedly forced, under the threat of being sent back to the Ministry of the Interior, to sign police reports with confessions they had not even read.
Prison of Beja
//Borj el amri// WHITE
Prison of Borj El Amri, near Tunis

Prison of Gabes
//Gafsa// WHITE
Prison of Gafsa

From one prison to another. See the video in the other tab windows.

Prison of Grombalia, near Nabeul
Prison of Harboub
//Kef// YELLOW
Prison of Kef

From this prison we just bring to mind:

  1. The case of lawyer Mohammed Abbou who is serving a 3 year prison sentence for publishing an article on a banned website criticizing the human rights situation in Tunisia (more info here)
  2. The case of the Youth of Kef condemned for downloading an mp3 (See the flash animation here) of a HipHop song criticizing the brutality of the Tunisian police service (more info here and here)- (an other flash animation about the song).

//Jandouba// WHITE
Prison of Jandouba (Bulla Regia)

Aymen Dridi Aymen Dridi was arrested at his new work place in Ras Jebel on 8 June 2005, in the frame of the still on-going campaign operated by the Tunisian authorities under the cover of combating terrorism among young people who regularly visit mosques. His family was kept ignorant of his arrest and went to search for him in the different police stations without receiving any information, until a lawyer suggested that they went to the “9 April” prison in Tunis where his family met with him indeed after two months search. He was not to stay long there since the jail authorities have soon decided to deny him the right to visits and was moved afterwards to the Borj Erroumi prison in Bizerte. After he reported to the world the desecration of the Koran in the Borj Erroumi prison (see the rapport of the LTDH in French or in Arabic), he was tortured and transferred in the Bulla Regia prison.

See more details about his case here (in Arabic) and more topics about this case are here

Prison of Mahdia
Prison of Manouba, prison for women
//Messadine// GREEN
Prison of Messadine, Sousse
The political prisoners whose names are listed below have entered today 10 May 2006 in a hunger strike, to support their request for reconsideration of their heavy sentences. They have been trialled several times with the same accusations and have been for years deprived from their right to contact the judicial body for the revision of the court rulings against them. Amongst these cases, thirty have proved to be repetitive rulings.

More info about this case here (in Arabic)
Prison of Monastir
Prison of Mornague, near Tunis
Prison of Sfax
Prison of Siliana
//Sidi Bouzid// GREEN
Prison of Sidi Bouzid

See this flash animation about the Tunisian Prison made by mistral,
//Zouari// GREEN MINI
Banishment of Journalist and former political prisoner Abdalla Zouari

Journalist and former political prisoner Abdallah Zouari completed and an 11-year prison sentence in 2002, the authorities have continued to punish him because of hid criticism of the country’s human rights’ record. Mr Zouari Has been confined to a rural district, 500 kilometers from his family’s home in Tunis, jailed 3 times, placed under round-the-clock police surveillance and intermittently prevented from using Internet cafés.

See this flash animation for more info about the case of Abdallah zouari.
See also the work made by A. Zouari on
//Bou salem- Aloui// WHITE MINI
Administrative Restriction of The syndicalist and former political prisoner Slaheddine Alaoui in Bou Salem (Jendouba)
At the end thirteen years and half of imprisonment, I left behind me this appalling “Guantanamean” and “Abou-Ghraïbian” institution. On June 27, 2004, a horrible surprise was waiting for me: I was overpowered with sixteen years of administrative control, as a complementary penalty. This odious measure paralyzed me and taken away from me any prospect, in spite of many attempts to get over the difficulties, I failed. I made a statement on my situation on the columns of the Tunisian press to find listening ears, but there is no safety for that which shouts on the roofs.

For further information, read the text of Slaheddine Alaoui (in French and Arabic)

//Professor Moncef Ben Salem// WHITE MINI
“Virtual House Arrest” of Dismissed Mathematics Professor Ben Salem, near Sfax
Dr. Ben Salem According to HRW, Dr. Ben Salem has been the target of a “coordinated government campaign of harassment” because of his political views. He has been jailed twice, most recently from 1990-1993 for giving an interview to an Algerian newspaper in which he criticized the Tunisian government. Although there have been no new charges made against him since 1993, he has not been allowed to resume his teaching post, and has been barred even from entering the campus to retrieve his books and papers. Dr. Ben Salem reports that police are stationed outside his door at all times, his activities and those of his wife and children are constantly monitored, visitors are subjected to identification checks, his mail service is irregular and unreliable, and he has been denied a passport.

See the Letter to Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, dated July 7, 1997.
Read also the interview with Dr. Ben Salem on (in Arabic or in French)

Prison of Zembra, an island some 8km (5 miles) north of Kelibia.