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Decline in Tunisian torture cases but abuses still prevalent

Tunisian security forces [Anadolu]
Tunisian security forces [Anadolu]

The number of torture cases registered in Tunisia has declined significantly since 2015, though abuses still continue in prisons and detention centres, according to Tunisian Organisation Against Torture (OCTT).

The NGO released a report yesterday where 153 cases of torture and abuse were recorded between January and November 2016 compared to the year before when 250 cases were recorded, according to Mondher Cherni, the secretary-general of the OCTT.

Abuses recorded

  • Arbitrary arrests
  • Ill-treatment
  • Torture
  • Suspicious death
  • Threat of rape or attempted rape

According to the organisation, the abuses recorded ranged from “arbitrary arrest” (59 per cent of the cases), “ill-treatment” (33 per cent of cases), “torture” (four cases), “suspicious death” (two recorded) and “threat of rape or attempted rape” (two cases).

The report blamed police and security authorities who commit these violations against detainees at a rate of 62 per cent, followed by prison officers (24 per cent) and then the National Guard (gendarmerie, 14 per cent).

Read: Amnesty accuses Tunisia security forces of abuses

“Until now, there has not been a real and concrete reform in the security and prison institutions,” the report noted.

OCTT President Radhia Nasraoui called for “a revision of the laws to reduce the incidence of torture. Political parties, whether in power or in the opposition, must set out the issue of violations and of human rights.”

Last year, a group of UN experts ruled that Tunisia was “on the right track” in the fight against torture but maintained that cases of abuse were still prevalent.

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