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Human rights situation in Tunisia

A plenary debate on the initiative of the Greens/EFA group

On the initiative of the Greens/EFA group, a debate on the human rights situation in Tunisia was put on the agenda of the European Parliament, with a resolution adopted on 15 June.

Violations of human rights are commonplace in Tunisia. Infringements of the freedom of expression and association are regular occurrences; the judiciary is manipulated by the executive; and defenders of human rights are systematically attacked by the regime. The Tunisian League of Human Rights (LTDH), the first of its kind in the African and Arab world, is a primary target of these attacks.

The harassment of lawyers is nothing new in Tunisia. Tunisian lawyers who campaign for the independence of the judiciary are regularly subject to harassment, as well as verbal and physical aggression. Some of them are victims of the manipulated judiciary itself. Counsel Mohammed Abbou, who was sentenced to three and half years in prison for publishing an article criticising the corruption rife among the entourage of the Tunisian president, is one of a litany of examples of these victims. 

Green MEP Hélène Flautre, President of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights, has called for a complete reorientation of the EU strategy towards Tunisia. Mme Flautre was in Tunis for the 6th Congress of the Tunisian League of Human Rights (27-28 May 2006) but the congress did not take place following a ban by the authorities. A previous Parliament resolution and European Commission declaration, calling for the LTDH congress to be allowed to take place and for the release of Mohammed Abbou, among other things, were ignored.

Motion for a resolution on behalf of the Greens/EFA - 12 June 2006
Resolution adopted by EP - 15 June 2006
Intervention of Hélène Flautre in the European Parliament on 13 June 2006
European Parliament resolution - December 2005

See also

  • Amnesty International
  • Reporters Sans Frontières
  • International Federation for Human Rights
  • Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network

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