Prominent Tunisian blogger and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Lina Ben Mhenni was attacked on Sunday night by 10 policemen during a protest over the current government failure.
In a blog post titled "The night when 10 policemen attacked me!" ("Le soir ou dix flics se sont attaqués à moi !"), one of Tunisia's most prominent bloggers explains how she was beaten up by at least ten policemen.
Around 9:30pm on Sunday night protesters gathered on Habib Bourguiba Avenue, a symbol of the Tunisian revolution, to demonstrate against the current government dominated by Islamist Party Ennahda.
Tunisian police, present at the scene long before the beginning of the march, attempted to disperse the protesters saying that the state of emergency, which was extended for the 7th time late July since the ouster of former Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 18 months ago, barred gatherings of more than 3 people.
Despite the police's restrictions on protests, demonstrators continued towards the Interior ministry chanting: "Oh Tunisian people wake up".
Mhenni then explains how police officers attacked protesters by driving right into the crowd with their motorcycles. A scene that she compares to the infamous Egypt's "camel battle", when hordes of horses and camels violently attacked protesters in Cairo's symbolic Tahrir Square last year.
Mhenni's ordeal started shortly after being kicked out from a local café where she had gathered with her friends after being attacked by police on Habib Bourguiba Avenue.
“I walked away from the main road to rest for a bit and drink some water[…]before returning to a side street and observe what was happening on Habib Bourguiba Avenue […] suddenly a man that I know really well grabbed me by the arm and dragged me away from my friends”, the Nobel Peace Prize nominee explains.
“Then I started screaming and shouting. Two and then three policemen arrived. The number then continued increasing. They tried to take my back pack, but I resisted,” she adds. “One of them had his hand around my neck, another was trying to take my back pack and two other were hitting me up and ripping my clothes up. I received multiple blows all over my body,” she continued.
Mehni was finally rescued by a “young man who told the policemen “take me instead of her” before telling me to run [sic]”. During the attack Lina Ben Mhenni’s assailants managed to take her camera, which she eventually retrieved without the memory card.
The Tunisian blogger, who was taken to hospital for treatment, already suffer from Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease, and recently had a kidney transplant.
Lina Ben Mhenni writing was one of a handful of firsthand sources of the uprising coming from inside the country at a time when foreign journalists were banned from entering and the national media was a tool of the government.
She was also one of the few Tunisian cyberactivists who blogged and tweeted under her real name while former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was still in power.