A Bullet Straight to the Heart

Throughout the previous episodes, the arrival of Helmi’s funeral procession on Avenue Habib Bourguiba often resurfaces. Ten years later, the circumstances of his death remain unclear. The testimonies of his relatives, interspersed with excerpts from previous episodes, make it possible to reconstruct part of the story: that of a young man and a dictator with interlinked destinies.
14 December 2020
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14 جانفي 2011. في الحلقات السّابقة، كثيرا ما أُعيد سرد حدث وصول جنازة إلى شارع الحبيب بورقيبة. تحولت المظاهرة عندئذ إلى ساحة معركة. في التّابوت، جثمان حلمي البالغ من العمر 23 سنة والذي قُتل في اليوم السّابق برصاصة في القلب. بعد مضيّ 10 سنوات، لا تزال ملابسات وفاته غامضة. بفضل شهادات والدته وأقربائه، حاولنا تركيب جزء من الواقعة. قصّة شابّ ودكتاتور ارتبط مصيراهما، وحام حولهما فيض من الشّائعات، وسؤال أخير: أين وصلت الثّورة؟
Created by
Inkyfada Podcast
Monia Ben Hamadi
Editorial Support & Voice-Over
Bochra Triki
Recording, Sound Design and Mixing
Oussema Gaidi
Mohamed Dhaouadi, Yasmine Perkins
Marwen Ben Mustapha

The last episode of the series " Where were you on January 14?" looks back at an event that is often mentioned throughout previous episodes. On January 14, 2011, the funeral procession of young Helmi (who had been shot dead the day before), arrived at Habib Bourguiba Avenue.

This would become the catalyst for the police to start violently repressing the demonstrators who had gathered to pay their respects to Helmi, setting off a wave of police brutality. 

On January 13, 2011, Saida ran into her son Helmi as she was on her way home. The young man was heading towards Bab Souika with some friends, and promised to be home in time to have lunch with his mother. But Helmi will not be returning home.

Amidst tear gas, burning cars and the flying bullets of the police, Helmi was shot right in the heart, and died within a few hours. On the same evening, Ben Ali gave the infamous speech that preceded his departure, and put an end to his 23 years of dictatorship. 

Ten years later, Saida still has no clarity regarding who killed her son, and just like the families of many other martyrs of the revolution, she is still awaiting justice.  

Through the testimonies of Saïda, her neighbour Nejiba, friends of Helmi, as well as eyewitnesses from January 13 and 14, this episode attempts to shed light on the murky areas of certain official accounts in order to better understand what really happened that day.

Where were you on January 14th ?

Throughout the year leading up to the tenth anniversary of the revolution, Inkyfada looks back on the events of January 14, 2011 in Tunis. Through the personal accounts of individuals on the ground, an alternative documentation of contemporary history is formed: one that is based on several different perspectives.

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Inkyfada Podcast is the first platform entirely dedicated to original Tunisian podcasts, and was conceived by Inkyfada media in collaboration with the in-house research and development laboratory, InkyLab.
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.
Since then, Inkyfada Podcast has produced a wide variety of documentaries, investigations, and podcast series, as well as articles accompanied by music; covering a multitude of contemporary issues in order to offer an immersive and alternative podcast experience.
Whilst exclusively offering audio content, the Inkyfada Podcast team upholds the same core values and principles of inkyfada.com, and is committed to producing high quality content though a dynamic and meticulous production process.
In addition to the permanent team, Inkyfada podcast works closely with various journalists, artists, illustrators, musicians and other content creators in order to diversify the platform and support artistic creativity.
These podcasts differ from traditional radiophonic content in that the applied production and editing process is more akin to cinematographic techniques, in addition to being web-based, downloadable and accessible on demand.
Additionally, Inkyfada Podcast uniquely offers subtitles in French, Arabic and English for all audio content, the majority of which is recorded in Tunisian or in the preferred language of the speaker in question.

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