Thursday, January 27, 2011

Some are complicit with Ben Ali, and some not..

Photo: Humanite, 17/11/2011

Some French politicians are complicit with the regime of ousted Tunisian president Ben Ali. And some are not.

Former PCF national secretary Marie-George Buffet was asked last week by l’Humanite: How do you react to the arrest yesterday morning of Hamma Hammami, of  the Communist Workers Party of Tunisia?

Marie-George Buffet. Hamma Hammami was released from the underground a few weeks ago. I just had to phone one of his relatives. The arrest was made with great violence to a child. Ben Ali made statements on job creation, the resignation of the Minister of the Interior and the replacement of police in the streets by the army. However, repression is increasing.

How do you explain the ‘soft’ reaction of France and the EU?

Marie-George Buffet. This confirms the long standing complacency with regard to the Ben Ali regime. On Tuesday, our comrade, Jean-Paul Lecoq (PCF), a member of the  Foreign Affairs Committee in the National Assembly, asked on behalf of (our parliamentary group) the Left Democrats and Republicans for the government, which he asked to take the full measure and act. We were answered in a quite amazing way by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Michèle Alliot-Marie, who said: “that the know-how of our security forces, which is recognized worldwide, enables it to deal with security situations of this type.”

And here l’Humanite reported….

Many French politicians wish that everyone would forget their ‘soft ‘attitude to the Ben Ali regime.

Following the fall of Ben Ali, those who supported him in France and were silent on the regime’s misdeeds are undergoing a sudden conversion. Meanwhile, the opponents of the dictatorship are calling them to account by drawing up a list of the declarations that these people would like everyone to forget (In relation to this, see the edifying website: Ben-Ali-Wall-of-Shame.)

In this concert, some wits have noted a soft attitude on the part of both left-wing and right-wing personalities, and would have us believe that in the final analysis all political parties were equally guilty. All parties? That amounts to forgetting, a bit too quickly, the positions taken by the national secretary of the French Communist Party (PCF) up to last June, Marie-George Buffet, who in all her acts and all her declarations over the past years continually condemned the Ben Ali regime and the French authorities’ support for it, while demonstrating her solidarity with Tunisian democrats.

No later than this past summer, a PCF delegation headed by Marie-George Buffet went to Tunisia to meet with Tunisian democratic forces who were subject to an “intolerable” situation, as was emphasized by Jacques Fath, a PCF leader who accompanied Buffet (see l’Humanité, July 12, 2010).

One might also cite Marie-George Buffet’s constant support for the journalist Taoufik Ben Brik, receiving his wife Azza Zarrad when he was imprisoned (see l’Humanité, Feb. 6, 2010) and her meeting in Tunis with the Tunisian League for Human Rights, on November 26, 2008, in “solidarity with the labor movement of the mining region, the young people, the women, and the victims of repression (see l’Humanité, Dec. 3, 2008). Or again the “consternation” expressed by Buffet, a Communist member of the French National Assembly, in a letter to Nicolas Sarkozy, after he congratulated Ben Ali on his re-election. “The police have never stopped harassing the democratic opposition, and journalists have been subject to intimidation,” Marie-George Buffet pointed out, condemning “a head of state elected by manipulation and through fear in a context in which freedom of expression and freedom of association have been stifled.” (see l’Humanité, October 31, 2009)

Translated from l’Humanite  Thursday 27 January 2011, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Gene Zbikowski

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