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TUNIS (Reuters) - A Tunisian man who died on Monday in hospital in Tunis was tortured in a police station, his lawyer said, while the government confirmed he had died of a concussion.
The death of Abd Raouf Kammassi was the first of its kind to be reported in the North African country since the overthrow of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his dictatorial regime last year.
"Abd Raouf Kammassi died today at Charles Nicole Hospital due to being hit with a sharp object on his head by security forces during his interrogation in a police satation," lawyer Abd Elhak Triki told Reuters.
The Interior Ministry confirmed in a statement that Kammassi had died of a concussion. It said an investigating judge had ordered four security agents to stop interrogating him.
"Abd Raouf Kammassi died under torture in Sidi Hussein police station after his arrest on charges of theft," Radhia Nasroui, President of the Association Against Torture, told Reuters.
The previous government had long faced criticism of torturing prisoners, but the first such death after the revolution could embarrass the new government led by the Islamic party Ennahda, which has pledged to respect human rights and ensure proper treatment of prisoners.
Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Michael Roddy