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Tunisia: victims of former regimes demand compensation

A delegation of people from Redeyef, in the Gafsa Mining Basin, hold pictures and placards during a protest against the decision taken by the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) on 17 January 2013 outside the NCA building in Tunis. [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
A delegation of people from Redeyef, in the Gafsa Mining Basin, hold pictures and placards during a protest against the decision taken by the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) on 17 January 2013 outside the NCA building in Tunis. [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Dozens of victims of the tyranny of two previous regimes in Tunisia staged a protest on Tuesday to demand compensation from the authorities, Anadolu has reported. The protest was organised by NGOs the National Committee of Victims of Tyranny and the National Alliance to Complete the Path of Transitional Justice in the capital Tunis.

"The protest is against the government's refusal to complete the transitional justice process and settle the victims' issue," explained Abdel Hamid Al-Trudi, a spokesman for the committee. "The protesters represent different groups of victims who were subjected to the oppression of previous regimes. They are the families of those who were wounded and martyred during the 2011 revolution; victims of terrorist attacks; the General Committee of Bizerte Battle Militants; and those affected by the 1984 bread riots and the 2008 Revolt in Gafsa Mining Basin."

He pointed out that the victims have been waiting patiently for a long time and expect a positive response from the presidency. "The authorities need to take serious moves to implement the compensation resolutions and activate the work of the Karama Fund, which was approved in 2018 by the state." An amount of 10 million Tunisian dinars ($2.7 million) was allocated for compensation.

"As a first step," added Al-Trudi, "the protesters are expecting the payment of the compensation that was approved by the Administrative Court, in implementation of the recommendations of the Transitional Justice Law."

The law was passed in December 2013, through which the Truth and Dignity Commission was formed. The commission was tasked to look into human rights violations that took place in Tunisia during the rule of former Presidents Habib Bourguiba (1955-1987) and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (1987-2011). It issued a report last June in which it recommended ways to compensate the victims of violations, and reforms to ensure that they do not happen again.

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