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Repeal Laws Restraining Free Speech

(Tunis) – A Tunis court on November 12, 2020 sentenced a blogger, Wajdi Mahouechi, to two years in prison for posting a Facebook video that a court official deemed offensive, Human Rights Watch said today. Mahouechi, 31, a frequent commentator on…
A Tunisian woman walks past a graffiti that reads "Freedom is a daily practice" in Tunis April 26, 2011.
News

Unsanitary Cells Prime Condition for Spreading Virus Outside Walls

(New York) – The unsanitary, overcrowded prisons and juvenile detention centers in most Latin American and Caribbean countries offer prime conditions for outbreaks of COVID-19 that could severely affect the health of detainees and of…
Inmates point from inside of La Modelo prison in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, March 22, 2020.
News

Accused of Inciting Hatred in a Facebook Post

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities should drop the prosecution of a prominent activist on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights (LGBT) over a post on Facebook perceived as offensive to Islam. The counterterrorism…
Mounir Baatour, lawyer and president of Shams association, a group that defends sexual minorities.
News

Lack of a Constitutional Court Hinders Rights

(Tunis) – Tunisia still faces numerous hurdles to protecting its human rights gains nine years after Tunisians ousted the authoritarian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020.    The…
A Tunisian woman walks past a graffiti that reads "Freedom is a daily practice" in Tunis April 26, 2011.
News

Vendor in Bouhajla Died after Dispute with Police

(Tunis) – Tunisia has not released an autopsy report on the death of a man in police custody though two months have passed, Human Rights Watch said today. Tunisian authorities should complete their investigation into the death of Abderrazek Selmi,…
Abderrazek Selmi © Private
News

Police Dispersed Demonstration Over Health Care

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities should investigate allegations that police beat and sexually assaulted a protester while breaking up a sit in in Tunis on March 12, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today.  Wajdi Mahouachi, 31,…
Protestors demonstrating in front of Goverment Square on March 12, 2019 in Tunis, Tunisia.
News

Move Comes after Court Upheld Group’s Legality

(Tunis) – The Tunisian government should halt its attempt to fight a court ruling that gave an LGBT association the right to operate, Human Rights Watch said today. The Tunis-based Shams association has vocally advocated the repeal of…
People enter the Tunis hall of justice, Friday May, 26, 2017.
News

Law’s Reach Depends on Enforcement

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s first freedom of information law, approaching its third anniversary, significantly advances the rights of citizens to get information from publicly funded institutions, Human Rights Watch said today. The law’s real…
The standard form for filing a request for information under Tunisia’s 2016 “Right to Access Information Law” (Law No. 2016-22).
News

Military Courts Shouldn’t Try Civilians

  (Tunis, January 23, 2018) – A Tunisian blogger who recently won election to parliament is facing two military court trials for criticizing the army and its top brass on social media, Human Rights Watch said today. …
Tunisian protesters stand outside a military court in Tunis as they demonstrate in support of blogger Yassine Ayari during his appeal hearing on March 3, 2015.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Prosecuted for Criticizing the Army

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s military prosecutor should immediately drop charges against two journalists who criticized the country’s armed forces, Human Rights Watch said today. The prosecutor charged Rached Khiari, chief editor of the newspaper and website…
Tunisian protesters stand outside a military court in Tunis as they demonstrate in support of blogger Yassine Ayari during his appeal hearing on March 3, 2015.
News

Early Test for the New Constitution

(Tunis) – 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, Human Rights Watch said today. One of these…
News

Reform Procedures, Conditions from Arrest to Appearance before Judge

(Tunis) –Tunisia should amend laws governing the arrest, interrogation, and initial detention of suspects, and improve conditions in jails, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Lack of access to a lawyer during arrest and interrogation…
News

Journalists, Union Leader Prosecuted for Criticizing Officials

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities should quash the detention of a prominent activist and the prosecutions of two journalists for expressing their opinions. They are accused of defaming public officials. On September 9, 2013, an investigative judge ordered…
News

String of Prosecutions for Artwork, Writing, Lyrics Deemed ‘Insulting’

(Tunis) – A criminal court sentenced two Tunisian rappers to prison on August 30, 2013, for “insulting the police”. The sentences of a year and nine months in prison, which violate their right to free expression, are the latest in a string of similar…
News

Examine Charges, Drop Politically Motivated Ones

(Tunis) – The proliferation of questionable charges against a feminist activist detained since May 19, 2013, suggests that they may be politically motivated. The courts should carefully scrutinize the charges and grant the activist, Amina Sboui, pretrial…
News

Worrying Prosecutions Over Free Speech

(Tunis) – President François Hollande of France should raise key human rights concerns in his meetings with Tunisian officials on July 4 and 5, 2013. It is the first trip of a French president to Tunisia since Nicolas Sarkozy visited President Zine el-…
News

Rapper Jailed, Supporters and Journalists Assaulted During Trial

(Tunis) – The two-year prison sentence for a Tunisian rapper on June 13, 2013, for “insulting the police” in a song violates freedom of speech, Human Rights Watch said today. The criminal court sentence is another manifestation of the continuing…
News

Gunmen Open Fire on Leading Investigative Reporter’s Car

(Washington, DC) – Colombia should ensure that the investigation into the attack on a leading investigative journalist thoroughly examines possible motives related to his work and identifies all responsible parties, Human Rights Watch said today. On the…
News

Highest Court Issues Third Decision to Free Him

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s new justice minister should ensure the immediate release of Sami Fehri, the director of the privately owned Attounissia TV channel. Tunisia’s highest court on April 5, 2013, quashed his indictment and detention order and ruled that…