Category Archives: Tunisia

Tunisia: Special Rapporteur on Torture and ATI To Conduct Follow-Up Visit, Assess Implementation of 2011 Recommendations: June 4 – 6, 2014

June 3, 2014 – Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez and the ATI will conduct a follow-up visit to Tunisia from 4 to 6 June 2014, to follow up on the implementation of his 2012 recommendations for combating and preventing torture and ill-treatment. The Special Rapporteur hopes his second visit to Tunisia will “assist the Government in coping with some of the remaining challenges it faces regarding the fight against torture and in finding solutions that ensure the promotion of human rights and dignity of all persons.” During the visit, the team will meet with key government decision makers, civil society, and victims and their families. During a full-day roundtable event, the Special Rapporteur and members of local and international civil society will discuss the main challenges and strategies for preventing and combating torture and ill-treatment on the ground, with a special focus on the topics of access to justice, reparations and rehabilitation, and conditions of detention. The roundtable has been organized by the ATI along with the OHCHR in Tunis, the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), and Actions by Christians against Torture (ACAT). The Special Rapporteur has stated that he looks forward to helping Tunisian authorities “to further implement my recommendations, uphold the rule of law, promote accountability for present and past abuses and allegations of torture and ill-treatment, fulfill the right to reparations for victims, and to ensure that alleged perpetrators are held responsible in conformity with international law.” You can read the UN OHCHR press statement announcing the visit here. For more details, daily updates, and background information on the Special Rapporteur’s 2011 mission and work in Tunisia, please visit our Tunisia Country Page.

Special Rapporteur Delivers Video Address During Ceremony Establishing Tunisian National Day Against Torture

May 8, 2014: The Special Rapporteur delivered a video address during a ceremony hosted by Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki in Tunis, where the president declared May 8 as the National Day Against Torture. During the ceremony, President Marzouki highlighted the State’s commitment to combating torture and ill-treatment and to fighting impunity and ensuring accountability for past abuses, and apologized to victims and their families on behalf of the Tunisian state. In his statement, the Special Rapporteur outlined Tunisia’s obligations with regards to combating and preventing torture and ill-treatment, and recognized some important progress made by Tunisia since his official visit three years ago, including the establishment of a National Preventive Mechanism under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. The Special Rapporteur’s video address is available here. You can also read a French-language news article about the event here.

Law Establishing National Preventive Mechanism Published in Official Gazette of Tunisia

October 31, 2013 – The APT has reported that the law establishing Tunisia’s National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT) has been published in the Official Gazette of Tunisia as organic law number 2013-43 of 23 October, 2013. The law establishing the “National Authority for the Prevention of Torture,” which was adopted by the Tunisian legislature earlier in October 2013, has been welcomed by civil society and the international community. The text of the law is now available in French and Arabic.

Tunisian Government Establishes a National Preventative Mechanism Under OPCAT

October 2013 – The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has welcomed the Tunisian government’s passage of a law establishing a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) as an “important milestone” in Tunisia’s ongoing transition. The National Body to Prevent Torture will be an independent mechanism with broad jurisdiction, including the power to visit all places of detention. The changes were implemented following the Special Rapporteur on Torture’s 2011 visit to the country and his subsequent recommendations which urged Tunisia to establish an independent NPM in accordance with OPCAT.

Free Tunisia – The Special Rapporteur and representatives of Tunisian civil society and government hold a side-event to discuss the SRT’s findings

March 5, 2013 – During a panel event at the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council, both representatives from the Tunisian interim Government and civil society were present. The UN Special Rapporteur Juan E. Mendez, who had recently concluded a mission to Tunisia, discussed his findings and recommendations. Although he recognized a positive shift of implementing human rights protections in the constitutional reforms, the Special Rapporteur expressed the urgency of investigating past and current allegations of torture and ill-treatment. He also warned that within the security apparatus, “torture is still very much integrated within the system as a political tool.”

Geopolitical Monitor: Torture and the Arab Political System

 

November 23, 2011 – Special Rapporteur on Torture acknowledges the positive steps taken by the interim Government in denouncing torture; yet, he also urges that the authorities investigate all allegations of torture in order to make the rhetoric a reality. The past violations represent a policy of using torture to silence political opposition and, therefore, truth and justice are required to move forward to a commitment against torture.

PressTV: 300 Killed in Tunisia Uprising, According to UN

May 23, 2011 – UN Special Rapporteur on Torture reported at least 300 people died and 700 were injured during the Tunisia uprising, from December 17, 2010 and January 14, 2011. In response to death toll figures, the Special Rapporteur called on the Tunisian government to ensure reparations for victims of torture and ill-treatment and ultimately accountability for past abuses.

Jurist: UN Expert Cites 300 Died During Tunisia Uprising

May 23, 2011 – Special Rapporteur on Torture calls for a full investigation of all allegations of rape and torture carried out by security forces, including those acts committed after the fall of former president Ben Ali. Such recommendations follow reports that security forces used torture and violence against protesters during and after the revolution.

Reuters: People Still Tortured in Tunisia, Says UN Special Rapporteur

May 21, 2011 – During his visit to Tunisia, the Special Rapporteur urged the interim Government to carry out investigations into allegations of torture during the Ben Ali regime. He recognized that, contrary to international standards, approximately 66 people were detained during anti-government protests for up to twelve hours without access to their lawyers or families and detainees were subjected to interrogation methods including torture.

CNN World: UN Reports About 300 People Killed In Original Tunisian Uprising

May 21, 2011 – While on a mission to Tunisia, the Special Rapporteur was informed of at least 300 deaths and 700 injured persons during the uprising, a figure that was revealed by a fact-finding Commission created to bring truth about the human rights abuses during the revolution.