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1 Dead, Arrests for Facebook Posts and ‘Insulting Police’

(Tunis) – Police in several Tunisian governorates appear to have responded to social justice protests in recent weeks with excessive force at times, leaving one man dead and arresting hundreds, including many minors, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A protester holds up a sign saying “Police Everywhere, Justice Nowhere” during nation-wide protests calling for social justice and government reform on January 23, 2021, Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Tunis, Tunisia.
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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.
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New Government Should Suspend Abusive Laws

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s new government, approved by Parliament on February 27, 2020, should make human rights a priority, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should protect fundamental rights in eight key areas: ending criminal…
A general view of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People in Tunis, Tunisia, May 2016.
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Repressive Laws Sap Free Expression

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities are using laws on criminal defamation, “spreading false information,” and “harming others via public telecommunications networks” to prosecute people for their online commentary, Human Rights Watch said…
Revolutionary graffiti adorns a wall of the Prime Minister's office in Tunis, January 22, 2011.
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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
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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).
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Arrests, Charges Lead to Self-Censorship

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities are investigating, charging, and in some cases detaining bloggers and social media activists merely for their peaceful criticism of public officials, Human Rights Watch said today. Several said they have begun to…
Revolutionary graffiti adorns a wall of the Prime Minister's office in Tunis, January 22, 2011.
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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.
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Sofiane Chourabi, a Tunisian journalist emblematic of Tunisia’s struggle for free speech and media independence, and his cameraman, Nadhir Ktari, have been missing since an unidentified group reportedly seized them in Libya last September. On…
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The prosecution of prominent blogger Yassine Ayari exposes the continuing deficiencies of Tunisia’s legal system in upholding human rights four years after the “Jasmine Revolution” set the country on a path towards democratic rule. On March 3, a military…
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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…
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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…
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TV Station Director Held Despite Release Order

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s justice minister should ensure the immediate release of Sami Fehri, the director of the privately owned Attounissia TV channel. Fehri is being held despite a decision by the highest court in Tunisia on November 28, 2012, to quash his…
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Swiftly Carry Out Investigation into April 9 Crackdown

(Tunisia) – The interior minister’s decision to reauthorize peaceful demonstrations along the capital’s main thoroughfare is a positive move but is not sufficient to protect the right to assemble, Human Rights Watch said today. The Tunisian authorities…
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Revise Laws That Set Prison Terms for “Offending Public Morals”

UDPATE July 3, 2012: On June 25, the Court of Appeals in El Monastir confirmed the guilty verdict and the penalties against the two men. (Tunis) – The seven-year prison terms handed down on March 28, 2012 to two Tunisians for publishing writings perceived…
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Authorities Stand by as Journalists Assaulted

(Tunis) – The trial of a television director on morality charges for airing a controversial animated film is a disturbing turn for the nascent Tunisian democracy, Human Rights Watch said today. On January 23, 2012, a Tunis court announced that Nabil…
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The parties of both the minority and the majority must not forget that the revolution in Tunisia carried within it a desire for freedom, dignity, and justice. On Sunday, October 23 the mood was already palpable in the early morning: people of all ages,…
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Parties’ Responses to Questionnaire Shed Light on Their Stances

(Tunis) – Many parties competing in Tunisia’s election for a constituent assembly on October 23, 2011, believe that basic freedoms should be protected, but they disagree about circumstances under which freedoms could be limited, Human Rights Watch said in…
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Defenders to Receive the 2011 Alison Des Forges Award

(New York) – Seven courageous and tireless advocates for human rights will be honored in November 2011 with the prestigious Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism, Human Rights Watch said today. These activists from Egypt, Indonesia, Iran,…