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UN: Tunisia has serious problems that need addressing

Tunisian protesters confront police officers in Tunis, Tunisia on 30 January 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian protesters confront police officers in Tunis, Tunisia on 30 January 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Experts from the UN Sub-Committee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) confirmed, on Wednesday 6 April 2022, that Tunisia has made progress in the prevention of torture through establishing an effective national preventive body, with reference to the National Authority for the Prevention of Torture. However, they noted that there are problems, which they described as serious, that need to be resolved. They indicated, particularly, the violence committed by police.

A statement issued by the SPT, quoted from Abdallah Ounnir, who headed a four-member delegation visiting Tunisia, as saying "we were pleased to meet with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Interior and other senior government officials, and we shared with them our initial results after visiting many places, where people are deprived of their liberty."

"In addition, we were able to review the good work implemented by the National Authority for the Prevention of Torture, and we made joint visits with the Authority to several detention centres," Ounnir added.

The United Nations experts affirmed that the visit revealed problems, which they described as serious, and said that these problems worried the Sub-Committee.

The experts indicated the overcrowding in prisons, which they said prevents separating prisoners in case of remand. They also pointed out to the convicted prisoners, and the violence of police, which they confirmed that is still continuing, attributing that to the impunity of the perpetrators.

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The Sub-Committee affirmed that it will send its report to Tunisia, stressing that it will remain confidential until the government decides to declare it.

The Sub-Committee said that it makes visits to all member states in the optional protocol, as part of its mission. And that it also makes unannounced visits to places where people are deprived of their liberty.

The delegation of the Sub-Committee visited Tunisia between 27 March and 2 April, 2022. It included Abdallah Ounnir (Morocco) as the head of the delegation, Hamit Diakhati (Senegal), Marina Langfeldt (Germany) and Ghanambe Garba Kodjo (Togo).

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AfricaInternational OrganisationsNewsTunisiaUN
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