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32 groups express 'real concerns about freedoms' in Tunisia

Tunisian demonstrators raise placards as they protest in front of the parliament, against their President Kais Saied's seizure of governing powers, in the capital Tunis, on 14 November 2021. [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
Demonstrators protest against President Kais Saied's seizure of governing powers in Tunis, Tunisia on 14 November 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]

Thirty-two groups and bodies in Tunisia have expressed "real concerns about freedoms" following President Kas Saied's announcement that a referendum will be held to consider "constitutional reforms".

On 13 December, Saied said a referendum will be held on 25 July to consider "constitutional reforms" prepared by a special committee taking into account the results of the public consultation exercise to take place by post and online until 20 March.

However, a number of organisations have said "in its current form, the consultation appears to be mere pretext for directing the course towards predetermined options."

The associations said in a joint statement published by Tunis Afrique Presse that "the consultation in its current form cannot in any way reflect the reality of plurality and cannot express the aspirations of all Tunisian women and men." It also " does not take into account the digital divide, nor protect personal data – such as the need to depend on other people to fill out the form – and does not guarantee using the data stored later."

"The consultation does not focus on the major options in the economic and social fields, although they constitute the two main strategic issues to shape the future."

Is Tunisia's state of emergency being used to restrict freedoms? - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Is Tunisia's state of emergency being used to restrict freedoms? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Tunisia president: 'Judiciary is free, media run by hidden system'

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