• Since the ousting of the Ben Ali regime in 2011, Tunisians have enjoyed greater freedom of expression, assembly, and association, including the freedom to form political parties. However, several factors hampered the consolidation of rights’ protections. These included the retention of the former regime’s repressive legal arsenal and attempts by the executive branch to control media and prosecute speech offenses. Judicial authorities prosecuted many journalists, bloggers, artists, and intellectuals on account of their peaceful exercise of freedom of expression using penal code provisions criminalizing “defamation,” “offenses against state agents,” and “harming public order,” all of which can result in prison terms.
  • The Tunisian government should reinstate judges summarily dismissed by the previous justice minister on May 28, 2012. An administrative court has ruled on 30 of the 75 cases since December 2013, ordering their reinstatement, but the government has not acted.

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Tunisia

  • Jul 8, 2014
    The Tunisian government should reinstate judges summarily dismissed by the previous justice minister on May 28, 2012. An administrative court has ruled on 30 of the 75 cases since December 2013, ordering their reinstatement, but the government has not acted.
  • Jul 7, 2014
    Tunisian legislators should revise the draft counterterrorism law to make it fully consistent with international human rights standards on fair trial, privacy, and freedom of expression. The new law will replace a 2003 law used for years to quash dissent by curtailing free expression, association and assembly. Human Rights Watch issued a report on July 7, 2014, that analyzes the law in detail and contains recommendations for revisions.
  • Jul 7, 2014
    This report analyzes Tunisia’s draft counterterrorism law and assesses to what extent the proposed law conforms to international human rights standards. The draft law was submitted to the National Constituent Assembly, Tunisia’s parliament, by the Council of Ministers in January 2014 and is under review.
  • Jun 25, 2014
    The Tunisian authorities should promptly investigate allegations that Tunisian combatants have committed war crimes in Iraq and Syria. On June 13, 2014, a man calling himself Abu Hamza al-Mouhamadi, and identifying himself as Tunisian, posted on his now-closed Facebook page three videos and associated photographs apparently showing his role in the abuse and ultimate execution of five detained Iraqi border guards.
  • May 30, 2014
    On 12 May, Azyz Amami, a Tunisian blogger and human rights defender, was arrested for marijuana possession along with a photographer on the outskirts of Tunis. Amami denies he had drugs in his possession and says it was a police setup. On 15 May, despite the bruises on his face, which his lawyers cited as reason to suspect he had been abused in police custody, the prosecutor ordered his detention. However on 23 May, the First Instance Tribunal of Tunis dropped the charges against him and ordered his release.
  • May 22, 2014
    Tunisian authorities should ensure that the specialized chambers established by the new transitional justice law are truly independent and meet minimum international fair trial standards. The specialized chambers will hear cases of serious human rights abuses, including during the presidency of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
  • May 19, 2014
    The arrest of the blogger and human rights defender, Azyz Amam, along with the photographer Sabri Ben Mlouka, on the night of May 12, 2014, in Goulette on the northern outskirts of Tunis, on allegations of possession of cannabis, has provoked indignation in Tunisia.
  • Apr 30, 2014
    Tunisia has officially lifted key reservations to the international women’s treaty, an important step toward realizing gender equality, Human Rights Watch said today. The Tunisian government should next ensure that all domestic laws conform to international standards and eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.
  • Feb 6, 2014
    Tunisian authorities should mark the celebration of the country’s new constitution on February 7, 2014, by immediately quashing the sentences of anyone convicted under laws that violate human rights. One of these is Jaber Mejri, a blogger imprisoned since 2012 for publishing caricatures deemed insulting to Islam. Many foreign heads of state and officials, including the President François Hollande of France, will attend the ceremony.
  • Feb 3, 2014
    Tunisia’s revolution reached a milestone in late January when it passed a new constitution, setting a new course for the country’s future. The National Constituent Assembly has spent nearly two years of hard work on the document, with a month devoted solely to debating and scrutinizing each and every article.