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Human rights in Tunisia after elections

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Human rights in Tunisia after elections


The prospects for human rights in Tunisia after forthcoming elections comes under the spotlight in this edition of Utalk.

The question is from Hamed in London: “How far up the agenda are Human Rights issues in the candidates’ manifestos for the upcoming Tunisian elections?”

The response comes from
Amna Guellali, Director of the Human Rights Watch office for Tunisia and Algeria.

She says: “In the upcoming legislative and presidential elections to be held in Tunisia in October and November 2014, I would say that Human Rights issues have not been really visible enough in the candidates’ and parties’ speeches and manifestos.

“But first of all, let’s talk about what has been achieved in terms of Human Rights. Nearly 4 years after the fall of Ben Ali’s regime, one can say that we’ve achieved very mixed results.

The adoption of a new constitution in January 2014 has been a very positive step for Tunisia because this constitution includes quite an important and complete set of rights and freedoms.

A lot of changes have also occured in terms of freedom of the press and of freedom of speech which is a reality today.

Having said that, in other areas we’ve had very few results or no results at all. For instance, torture and abuses have not been eradicated because the security forces have not been comprehensively reformed. Also because Tunisia’s judicial authority still does not automatically guarantee citizens’ rights and freedoms. The impunity system that used to prevail before is still going on today.

Violence against women also represents a quite alarming issue in today’s Tunisia. The State has not managed to bring a global solution to it so far.

So far candidates and parties have mostly relied on slogans such ‘social justice’, ‘development for all’ or ‘let’s fight poverty’. But they haven’t proposed a global vision to address those issues and guarantee people’s rights. So it’s only about slogans so far.”

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