Tunisia


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Tunisia Human Rights

Amnesty International's Agenda for Change

The situation in Tunisia has changed dramatically since the original CAP action was issued on 11 January 2011. The rule of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been brought to an end by a wave of popular protest. Tunisians are now looking to a caretaker government to begin to restore faith in the country's national institutions, including the security forces.

In the coming days, Amnesty International will issue an agenda for human rights change addressed to the caretaker government in Tunis. The agenda makes a series of detailed recommendations on human rights reform. In particular, it calls on the Tunisian authorities:

  • to rein in the security forces;
  • to condemn torture and other ill-treatment;
  • to uphold freedoms of expression, association and assembly; and
  • to reform the administration of justice

The organization will also be making other recommendations to the Tunisian authorities, including on economic, social and cultural rights and discrimination against women.

Good News

"I would like to thank all the members of Amnesty International who campaigned for my release. I joined Amnesty International not only because of my convictions but also because it stood with me during my trial."    – Fahem Boukadous, former prisoner of conscience.

Amnesty International has welcomed an announcement by Tunisia's caretaker government that it has freed political prisoners detained during the rule of recently ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Among those released on Wednesday were two Amnesty International prisoners of conscience – journalist Fahem Boukadous and activist Hassan Ben Abdallah.

Human Rights Concerns

Overcrowding in prisons and discriminatory treatment of political prisoners continued to be reported. There was continuing concern about lack of medical care, poor hygiene, torture and ill treatment in prisons.

At least 15 people were charged under the new "anti-terrorism" law introduced in December 2003. Concerns persisted about the law, which allows for the extension of pre-trial detention for an undefined period and lacks safeguards in relation to people facing extradition to countries where they could face serious human rights violations.

The authorities gave no reason for withholding recognition from several human rights organizations that had been asking to be legalized for several years. Among these organizations are the International Association for the Support of Political Prisoners, the Association to Combat Torture in Tunisia and the National Council for Liberties. Members of such non-governmental organizations reported harassment and intimidation by the police.

Restrictions on freedom of expression, including access to information, and on exercise of the rights to freedom of association and assembly are not the only human rights issues in Tunisia that are of concern to Amnesty International. As the organization has documented in a succession of annual reports, it remains concerned too about long-standing abuse of detention powers, particularly by the security forces, by holding suspects incommunicado and without legal counsel beyond the limits allowed by law, and reports of torture and ill-treatment of detainees. In addition, many prisoners, particularly real or suspected members of Tunisia's domestic Islamist movement, have been sentenced to heavy prison terms after grossly unfair trials. A number of them went repeatedly on hunger strikes to protest against their sentences and the continuing ill-treatment that they face in prison.

Tunisia Newsroom



March 17, 2016 • Press Release

Tunisia: Severe restrictions on liberty and movement latest symptoms of repressive emergency law

As Tunisia prepares to extend a nationwide state of emergency on 22 March, Amnesty International has highlighted the government’s disproportionate and repressive use of emergency laws to trample on human rights.

February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 18, 2016 • Press Release

Your rights in jeopardy, global assault on freedoms, warns Amnesty International

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

January 13, 2016 • Press Release

Evidence of torture and deaths in custody in Tunisia suggest human rights gains of the uprising are sliding into reverse gear

New evidence of deaths in custody and torture collected by Amnesty International suggests that brutal repression is on the rise again in Tunisia exactly five years after the toppling of the previous authoritarian regime by the “Jasmine Revolution”, which sparked a wave of uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa.

December 17, 2015 • Press Release

Five years after the tragedy that sparked an uprising, human rights remain at risk in Tunisia and beyond

Five years since fruit-seller Mohamed Bouazizi sparked wide-ranging protests in Tunisia and the wider region after setting himself alight in protest at police harassment in the town of Sidi Bouzid, ongoing human rights violations across the region are increasingly reminiscent of repressive and abusive measures of the past, Amnesty International warned today.

December 14, 2015 • Press Release

Tunisia: Sentencing of six men for same-sex relations highlights state’s entrenched homophobia

The jailing of six Tunisian men sentenced to three years in prison for sodomy is a shocking example of deep-rooted state sanctioned discrimination against LGBTI people in the country, said Amnesty International today.

December 2, 2015 • Press Release

Tunisia: Sweeping crackdown signals abuse of emergency measures

Security forces have carried out scores of arrests and detentions in the wake of last week’s suicide attack in central Tunis, in a troubling sign that the authorities are reverting to repressive and abusive measures, said Amnesty International.

November 25, 2015 • Press Release

Tunisia: Rapists given a way out while their victims are blamed and punished

Loopholes in Tunisia’s laws are granting perpetrators of rape, sexual assault and physical violence a way out while their victims are frequently punished and blamed when they dare to report the crimes against them, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

October 9, 2015 • Press Release

Nobel Peace Prize fitting tribute to Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet’s fight for rights and freedoms

The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet’s newly awarded Nobel Peace Prize is a fitting tribute to its members’ work in strengthening civil society and human rights in a society still struggling with the legacy of decades of repression and abuse, Amnesty International said today.