Torture in  [Tunisia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Tunisia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Tunisia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Tunisia]  [other countries]
 

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                                            gvnet.com/torture/Tunisia.htm

Republic of Tunisia

Tunisia has a diverse economy, with important agricultural, mining, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Governmental control of economic affairs while still heavy has gradually lessened over the past decade with increasing privatization, simplification of the tax structure, and a prudent approach to debt. Progressive social policies also have helped raise living conditions in Tunisia relative to the region.

Tunisia will need to reach even higher growth levels to create sufficient employment opportunities for an already large number of unemployed as well as the growing population of university graduates. The challenges ahead include: privatizing industry, liberalizing the investment code to increase foreign investment, improving government efficiency, reducing the trade deficit, and reducing socioeconomic disparities in the impoverished south and west.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Tunisia

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Tunisia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Torture in Tunisia and the return of the conditions for a revolution

Mohammad Hunaid,  Middle East Monitor, 26 April 2016

www.middleeastmonitor.com/20160426-torture-in-tunisia-and-the-return-of-the-conditions-for-a-revolution/

[accessed 18 August 2016]

In a report that is scheduled for presentation to the UN Committee Against Torture this month, Amnesty International offered an embarrassing description of the post-revolution human rights situation in Tunisia. The organisation also pointed out that the brutal methods of dealing with prisoners and detainees, considered a deeply rooted tradition followed by tyrannical regimes when dealing with the Arab masses, have returned.

The report monitored two main factors. First, the increased physical and moral violations exercised by the security forces against citizens. These violations reach the level of physical torture, rape, threats of rape and resorting to a number of brutal torture methods with detainees, such as beatings, simulated drowning, and other exercises we have seen by the cowboy army in Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq.

Tunisia's torture victims hope for justice at hearings

Eric Reidy, Al Jazeera, Tunis, 27 Jun 2015

en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/tunisias-torture-victims-hope-justice-hearings-064205067.html

[accessed 25 Aug 2015]

www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2015/06/tunisia-torture-victims-hope-justice-hearings-150623084544691.html

[accessed 8 August 2017]

In 1991, 16-year-old Selwa Bejawi was arrested because her brother was a leader in the then-banned Tunisian Islamist movement Ennahda.

Bejawi said she was taken from her high school to the interior ministry in downtown Tunis. Once there, she was forced to take off her headscarf and clothes and walk naked in front of a room full of security officers.

"The least thing we went through was sexual harassment," she told Al Jazeera. "We went through the same torture as men."

"We used to be hung and beaten," she continued, tears welling in her eyes. "The hardest part of prison was the first two weeks, when we went through questioning and torture."

She said the Tunisian government arrested her to try to put pressure on her brother, who was on the run at the time.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015 - Events of 2014

Human Rights Watch, 29 January 2015

www.hrw.org/world-report/2015/... or download PDF at  www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/wr2015_web.pdf

[accessed 18 March 2015]

TUNISIA

TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT - Torture and other ill-treatment reportedly remained common in detention facilities and prisons, despite the NCA’s adoption on October 9, 2013, of a law to create a National Authority for the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. A year later, however, the NCA had yet to vote on the appointment of the National Authority’s members.

Following his second visit to Tunisia since the revolution, in June the special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, said that the eradication of torture in Tunisia required both political will and institutional, legal, and cultural reforms to strengthen safeguards against torture and to rebuild citizens’ trust in the judicial and security apparatus.

Slow justice for Tunisia's torture victims

Akim Rezgui for AFP, Tunis, 23 October 2014

www.ucanews.com/news/slow-justice-for-tunisias-torture-victims/72240

[accessed 26 November 2014]

Denguir, 34, who earned a living operating a merry-go-round with his father, was detained last November on suspicion of a drug-related offence.

"They told me that they had taken him in at around 4pm. Before 5pm I got word that my son had been arrested and afterwards someone called to tell me he was dead," his mother Faouzia Zorgui said.

"In the space of 45 minutes, they tore him to pieces," she told AFP as she wiped the white headstone marking her son's grave in Tunis which she visits every week.

The autopsy report concluded that Denguir had been beaten with a "blunt object" but did not establish a cause of death.

Marzouki Offers 'Apologies of State' to Torture Victims

Tunis Afrique Presse, Carthage, 8 May 2014

allafrica.com/stories/201405091273.html

[accessed 12 May 2014]

Caretaker President Moncef Marzouki offered, on Thursday, the "apologies of the Tunisian State" to the victims of torture over the last 50 years as well as to their families.

Chairing in Carthage a ceremony on National Day against Torture, Marzouki urged civil society to show vigilance so that the State finds no justifications for practices detrimental to human dignity.

"Rest assured that the State will stand up against torture and rehabilitate victims," he stressed. Such atrocities will see no repeat, he added.

"The protection of the physical integrity of citizens and their security are a top priority for the State," he also highlighted.

"Fight against torture is not an occasional undertaking but rather an everyday struggle which calls for adequate societal mechanisms," the Caretaker President pointed out.

Corruption and torture are widespread in all political regimes, he indicated. Laws cannot on their own stamp out torture; a mental changeover is highly needed along with a strong civil society, Marzouki said.

Tunisia: Landmark Opportunity to Combat Torture

Human Rights Watch, Tunis, 14 October 2013

www.hrw.org/news/2013/10/14/tunisia-landmark-opportunity-combat-torture

[accessed 14 Oct 2013]

Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly on October 9, 2013, adopted a law to create a National Authority for the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Aplenary session of the legislative assembly will elect 16 experts to the new authority from a preselected list. These experts will have the authority to visit any site where people are deprived of their liberty to document torture and ill-treatment, to request criminal and administrative investigations, and to issue recommendations for measures to eradicate torture and ill-treatment.

“The creation of this new body is an unprecedented opportunity to address Tunisia’s legacy of torture and ill-treatment,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

www.amnesty.org/en/region/tunisia/report-2013

[accessed 11 Feb 2014]

The authorities restricted freedom of expression and prosecuted several people using repressive laws enacted under the previous government. There were new reports of torture and other ill-treatment by police, who also used excessive force against demonstrators.

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT - There were reports of torture and other ill-treatment by police. In August the Ministry of Human Rights and Transitional Justice said that, following a public consultation, it planned to establish a new independent national institution to combat torture. The proposed body would be empowered to visit places of detention and help draft new legislation, and would report annually and operate in line with international standards.

Abderraouf Khemmassi died on 8 September in police custody in Tunis, 11 days after his arrest for alleged theft. An autopsy attributed his death to a blow to the head and recorded other injuries. Four police officers were subsequently arrested and charged with causing his death.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61700.htm

[accessed 14 February 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices; however, security forces reportedly tortured detainees to elicit confessions and discourage resistance. The forms of torture and other abuse included: electric shock; submersion of the head in water; beatings with hands, sticks, and police batons; suspension, sometimes manacled, from cell doors and rods resulting in loss of consciousness; and cigarette burns. According to AI, police and prison officials used sexual assault and threats of sexual assault against the wives of Islamist prisoners to extract information, to intimidate, and to punish.

Charges of torture in specific cases were difficult to prove because authorities often denied the victims of torture access to medical care until evidence of abuse disappeared. The government maintained that it investigated all complaints of torture and mistreatment filed with the prosecutor's office, and noted that alleged victims sometimes accused police of torture without filing a complaint, which is a prerequisite for an investigation.

According to defense attorneys, local human rights groups, and AI, police routinely refused to register complaints of torture. In addition, judges dismissed complaints without investigation and accepted as evidence confessions extracted through torture. The government may open an administrative investigation of allegations of torture or mistreatment of prisoners without a formal complaint; however, it was unlikely in those cases to make the results public or available to the lawyers of affected prisoners.

Consistent with an effort to extract information or coerce confessions, more reports of torture came from pretrial detention centers than prisons. Human rights activists, citing prisoner accounts, identified facilities at the Ministry of Interior as the most common location for torture. Political prisoners and Islamists allegedly received harsher treatment than criminals.

Several domestic nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including the National Council for Freedoms in Tunisia (CNLT) and the Association for the Fight Against Torture in Tunisia (ALTT), reported on multiple torture cases throughout the year. For example, on June 25, according to CNLT, 25-year-old Zied Ghodhbane appeared in court in a state of physical and psychological distress, bearing marks of abuse on his body. He reportedly testified that officials at the Ministry of Interior tortured him by beatings, electrocution, and holding his head under water in detention facilities at the interior ministry after his extradition from Algeria to the country. Defense lawyers for the accused requested that the judge recommend a medical examination, but the judge reportedly ruled that such a request should come from the general prosecutor.

In April authorities sentenced the "Bizerte Group," 11 defendants arrested in 2004 and charged with various terrorism-related crimes, to prison terms ranging from 10 to 30 years. On July 2, the court acquitted five of the defendants, while the remaining six received sentence reductions. The Committee of the Defense of Victims of the Law on Terrorism released multiple communiqués charging that authorities gathered confessions from the group using torture (see section 1.e.).

Authorities did not charge any police or security force official with abuse during the year.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 7   Civil Liberties: 5   Status: Not Free

2009 Edition

www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2009/tunisia

[accessed 14 February 2013]

The Tunisian judiciary lacks independence and regularly issues convictions in politically motivated cases. In 2008, the practice of detaining political activists continued unabated. Credible local and international sources report that detainees are routinely tortured in prison and in police custody.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment  -- Doc. A/54/44, paras. 88-105 (1998)

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/cat/observations/tunisia1998.html

[accessed 10 March 2013]

4. Subjects of concern

95. The Committee reiterates its views that the definition of torture under Tunisian law is not in conformity with article 1 of the Convention, as the Tunisian Criminal Code, inter alia, uses the term "violence" instead of torture and article 101 of the Criminal Code penalizes the use of violence only when it is used without just cause.

96. The Committee is concerned over the wide gap that exists between law and practice with regard to the protection of human rights. The Committee is particularly disturbed by the reported widespread practice of torture and other cruel and degrading treatment perpetrated by security forces and the police, which, in certain cases, resulted in death in custody. Furthermore, it is concerned over the pressure and intimidation used by officials to prevent the victims from lodging complaints.

97. The Committee is concerned that many of the regulations existing in Tunisia for arrested persons are not adhered to in practice, in particular:

(a) The limitation of pre­trial detention to the 10­day maximum prescribed by law;

(b) The immediate notification of family members;

(c) The requirement of medical examination with regard to allegations of torture;

(d) The carrying out of autopsies in all cases of death in custody.

100. The Committee feels that, by constantly denying these allegations, the authorities are in fact granting those responsible for torture immunity from punishment, thus encouraging the continuation of these abhorrent practices.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Tunisia ", http://gvnet.com/torture/Tunisia.htm, [accessed <date>]

 

 

Torture in  [Tunisia]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Tunisia]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Tunisia]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Tunisia]  [other countries]