Behind the Walls of the Interior

January 14, 2011. Malek is on Habib Bourguiba Avenue but has no idea of what's happening on the ground. He has been imprisoned for days in the Ministry of Interior holding cells. Malek, a young student and opponent of the Ben Ali regime, describes the cellars of the Ministry, the police violence and the notion of losing time.
14 September 2020
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Created by
Inkyfada Podcast
Bochra Triki, Oussema Gaidi
Editorial Support
Monia Ben Hamadi
Hazar Abidi
Editing, Sound Design & Mixing
Oussema Gaidi
Voice over
Bochra Triki
Yasmin Houamed
Marwen Ben Mustapha

On January 14, 2011, Malek had already been locked up for a few days in the Ministry of the Interior for having led demonstrations in Cité Ettadhamen. He had no idea about the revolution that was taking place just outside.

For 8 days, Malek was subjected to violence and torture by the police, and still suffers from permanent repercussions to this day. Between the basement and the third floor, he was interrogated for hours, hooded and chained.

The police were trying to gather evidence against him so that they could have him imprisoned for "organising ademonstration". The young student had already psychologically prepared himself for persecution and imprisonment.

As he was cut off from the world, he naturally wondered: would he be transferred to a prison? Would the army take control and resort to using weapons?

Ben Ali's departure did not even cross Malek’s mind, and he only heard about it when upon his release on the 18th. It was not until that day that he heard the word "revolution".

When he left, he was met by an unrecognisable country: the streets were ruled by the people, the RCD (Ben Ali's former political party) was dissolved... 

For two years, Malek avoided the area of the Ministry of the Interior because of his severe trauma. Even today, he never lets his gaze wander to the third and fourth floors of the building.

A few years later, he even ran into one of his torturers in a bar. Malek recalls it all.

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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