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The Origins of the Disaster

Following the two terrorist attacks in 2002 and 2007, the propagated image of terrorism not being native to Tunisia was shattered. In 2011, a general amnesty for all political prisoners further contributed to the already fragile security situation. Between political negligence and tightened security, the handling of terrorism-related cases in Tunisia over the past two decades provides necessary insight for understanding the precarious situation today.
21 April 2021
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Created by
Christophe Cotteret
Illustrations
_Z_
Audio recording
Bochra Triki
Sound Design and Mixing
Oussema Gaidi
Interviews and Voice-Over
Christophe Cotteret
Music
Omar Aloulou
Doubling
Maher Dhahbi
Voice off
Monia Ben Hamadi

Two days before the September 11 attacks in New York 2001, Commander Massoud was assassinated in Afghanistan. The identity of the suicide bombers was quickly revealed to be Tunisian members of al-Qaeda.

In this second chapter, Christophe Cotteret takes us back to the origins of the jihadist movement's formation in Tunisia. 

Interspersed with statements from lawyers and judges specialised in antiterrorism, the episode takes a look at the role of Ennahda and the birth of Ansar Al-Sharia, a movement which until 2013 had become the main promoter, trainer and organiser of networks for young Tunisian jihadi trainees heading to conflict zones.

How did the Tunisian state respond to this internal threat? 

" The new security apparatuses weren't prepared for this, and neither was the judicial system. Meanwhile, terrorism was spreading."

The Dilemma of The Antiterrorist Justice System

This audio documentary in five chapters is an unprecedented dive into the workings of the Tunisian antiterrorist justice. As an extention of the documentary "Daech, the dilemma of justice", it compiles more than two years of investigations and interviews in an attempt to shed light on the issues facing the antiterrorism system in Tunisia.

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Those accused of terrorism are often given ‘preferential treatment’, a.k.a. brutal arrests, torture, systematic incarceration in degrading conditions regardless of the severity of the offence, etc. When they are subsequently thrown into prison without being distinguished from ordinary prisoners, a radicalisation machine is set in motion inside the prison cells.

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Should Tunisian ex-combatants of the Islamic State be repatriated in order to be judged? This is a divisive issue in Tunisia. Given the differing estimates, it would be tricky to try to present an exact number of potential returnees, thus the National Security Council has decided that for the time being, only a few individuals will be repatriated. However, the challenge remains in the inability to guarantee a fair trial.

The Inner Workings of the Tunis Courthouse

Inside courtroom No. 6, the defendants respectively appeared before the judges and lawyers, as their families anxiously looked on. It was here that the hearings, condemning hundreds of suspects for being directly or indirectly linked to terrorism, were endlessly held. These young people embodied the consequences of the painful debate concerning the Tunisian justice system, security institutions, and public opinion.

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Inkyfada joined the global podcast boom in 2017, when the team produced the first Tunisian audio documentary, diving deep into the belly of the El Kamour struggle taking place in the desert.
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