Sami Fehri of Ettounissiya TV
I’m an idiot because I believed that there was a revolution in Tunisia, that there is now freedom of speech and justice, and that the law can exonerate me.
I’m an idiot because I handed myself over and thought it impossible that he who has suffered injustice, claimed to fear God, and languished in prison for years could turn into a torturer.
I’m an idiot because I refused to ally myself with Ennahda and be its propaganda tool — believing that hard work and perseverance were enough to ensure my success.
I’m an idiot because I believed the lawyers who told me that the Court of Cassation is the highest court in the country and that after Jan. 14, 2011, the government no longer interferes in the judiciary.
I’m an idiot because I believed the words of the minister of transitional justice when he visited me twice at the hospital, asked me to stop my hunger strike and vowed to liberate me on Jan. 3, 2013, in accordance with the law. I believed him when he said that freeing me while on hunger strike will send a negative message to other prisoners, who would then assume that I was released because of my hunger strike and not because I was innocent.
I’m an idiot because I thought that I will soon be freed when the prime minister invited my wife to Dar Dhiafa and assured her that I will be released in accordance with the law.
I’m an idiot because I believed and I still believe that Minister Samir Dilou and former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali have made the necessary effort. But I didn’t think for a moment that the force governing the country would deceive even their minister and head of government.
I’m an idiot because I didn’t understand that the force governing the country is not after my money or my person, but only wants to shut down Ettounissiya TV at any cost and put its hands on it before the elections.
I’m an idiot because I thought that my defense, my respect for justice, and my hunger strike would be enough to change the course of events, while in fact letting me die from a hunger strike is nowhere as bad as assassinating Chokri Belaid.
I’m an idiot because I thought that they wouldn’t dare practice injustice openly even though they had made a son[in-law] a cabinet minister and a friend, governor.
I’m an idiot because it took me so long to understand that I will not leave prison and that the number of detention warrants against me will increase.
I’m an idiot and happy about my idiocy because I succeeded in creating a TV station from nothing and in the worst conditions and that it once was the most-watched TV station in Tunisia.
I’m an idiot and happy about my idiocy because my artistic work has brought me into your hearts and made my family proud of me.
In the end, I will maintain my idiocy and try to resist, even though I have lost confidence in almost everything.
- Translated from French and Arabic