• Jan 21, 2014
    Tunisia’s process of democratic transition continued, but at a slow pace. The National Constituent Assembly (NCA), elected in October 2011, continued to draft a new constitution but at this writing it had yet to be approved. The assassination by alleged Islamist militants of two leading leftist opposition politicians, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, on February 6 and July 25 respectively, caused widespread shock and sparked a political crisis that saw the NCA suspended for two months.
  • Jan 9, 2013
    Following the ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, Tunisians elected a National Constituent Assembly (NCA) in October 2011 and entrusted its members with drafting a new constitution, to be followed by legislative and presidential elections. The Islamist party Al-Nahdha, which won a plurality of seats in the elections for the NCA, formed a governing coalition with Al-Mu’tamar min ajl al-Jumhuriyya party (Congress for the Republic) and the leftist Ettakatol party (Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties) to form a ruling coalition. At this writing, the NCA was debating a draft constitution, drafted by a group of six NCA committees, which upholds several key human rights and fundamental freedoms but also contains provisions that undermine women’s rights, as well as freedom of expression and of thought.
  • Jan 22, 2012
  • Jan 22, 2012
    Tunisia experienced historic changes in 2011. Street protests triggered by the self-immolation of MohamedBouazizi, a street vendor in Sidi Bouzid, on December 17, 2010, spread from city to city. The protests persisted, despite police using live ammunition against mostly peaceful demonstrators until President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled the country on January 14. The protests were fuelled by long-simmering grievances against a government that had relentlessly stifled dissent and meaningful pluralism, and whose repressive laws suffocated Tunisians’ freedom of expression, association, and assembly.
  • Jan 24, 2011
    The human rights situation remained dire in Tunisia, where President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and the ruling Democratic Constitutional Rally party (RCD) dominate political life.
  • Jan 20, 2010
    President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and the ruling party, the Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD), dominate political life in Tunisia. The government uses the threat of terrorism and religious extremism as a pretext to crack down on peaceful dissent.
  • Jan 12, 2009
    President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and the ruling party, the Constitutional Democratic Assembly, dominate political life in Tunisia. The government uses the threat of terrorism and religious extremism as a pretext to crack down on peaceful dissent.
  • Jan 5, 2006
    President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and the ruling party, the Constitutional Democratic Assembly, dominate political life in Tunisia. The government uses the threat of terrorism and religious extremism as a pretext to crack down on peaceful dissent. Government critics are frequently harassed or imprisoned on trumped-up charges after unfair trials. Over four hundred political prisoners remained incarcerated, nearly all of them suspected Islamists. There are continuous and credible reports of torture and ill-treatment being used to obtain statements from suspects in custody. Sentenced prisoners also face deliberate ill-treatment. However, during 2005 authorities allowed the International Committee of the Red Cross to start visiting prisons, and ended the practice of placing certain political prisoners in prolonged and arbitrary solitary confinement.
  • Jan 5, 2005
    Tunisia’s intolerance for political dissent continued in 2004. The ruling party, the Constitutional Democratic Assembly, dominates political life, and the government continues to use the threat of terrorism and religious extremism as a pretext to crack down on peaceful dissent. The rights of freedom of expression and freedom of association are severely restricted. Critics of the government are frequently harassed or imprisoned on trumped-up charges after unfair trials. Following the conditional release of some eighty political prisoners in early November, about four hundred remained incarcerated, nearly all suspected Islamists. There are constant and credible reports of torture and ill-treatment used to obtain statements from suspects in custody. Sentenced prisoners also face deliberate ill-treatment. During 2004, as many as forty political prisoners were held in prolonged and arbitrary solitary confinement; some had spent most of the past decade in isolation.