Lina Ben Mhenni's Story - Democracy doesn't happen by chance
PUBLISHED: Tue, 11/14/2017

Lina Ben Mhenni's Story Transcript (Tunisia)

Since I started blogging, I use my real name. It is easy to hide behind the screen and keyboard and ask people to take to the streets and take action, but when you show your face, your real identity, you show that you are convinced of your actions and opinions and people can trust you, it is very important.

We couldn’t write books talking about the real situation in Tunisia, we couldn’t write articles, be present in a TV show or radio station to talk about the situation or to give our opinions, the regime had a monopoly on media, on means of communication.

I knew that people were dying, killed by Tunisian security forces and I had to talk about that. Our local media were taking about demonstrations to support the regime, they were not telling the truth.

What are human rights for you, how can you define human rights? All these rights, universal rights are birth rights and obligations. In April 2010 the Police broke into my house, they stole my laptop, my cameras and by the time we were working on a demonstration against censorship and it was a turning point in the history of cyborg activism in Tunisia because it was the first time we decided to leave our screens and go to the streets and say no to censorship.

Let me say that the hardest moment was the day I was in Regueb, in Sidi Bouzid, I took photos of the carcasses of young people that were just killed by the security forces and it was really hard. And one of the houses I was shaking I couldn’t take the photos, but it was the mother of the martyr who was saying, you have to take the photos and show this to people around the world but I was taking the photos and recording the small videos and I was crying shaking and yeah.

I lived with that for months and months and whenever I remember it, it is really hard.

January 14th, 2011 was really an important day in my struggle. It is the day the dictator left the country, after that we took to the streets. Hundreds of thousands of people were demonstrating shouting the same slogans and asking him to leave.

Every small victory gives me the confidence that I am on the real path that I have to keep on struggling for this country it is very important.

Small details mean a lot.