Tunisia: EuroMed NGO decries deteriorating human rights situation

Tunisia: EuroMed NGO decries deteriorating human rights situation

EuroMed Rights NGO has voiced deep concern over the escalating oppression in Kaïs Saïed’s Tunisia which has intensified its campaign of arrests, intimidation, denigration and targeted attacks against political opponents, journalists, trade unionists and civil society representatives.

The vocal critics of the Tunisian regime are unfairly accused of conspiracy to undermine state security, corruption, or contacts with foreign diplomats, said the rights’ Watchdog in its latest press release.

International trade union activists who have come to participate in activities of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT), such as Esther Lynch, the General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, have been expelled and any other trade union representatives are now persona non grata in Tunisia, added EuroMed Rights.

“These arrests based on the crime of opinion and the widespread repression of freedom of expression in all its forms constitute a serious breach of the rule of law,” underlined the NGO, saying such repression prompts fears of a return to the practices of the authoritarian regime that preceded the January 2011 revolution.

The national dialogue that the UGTT has initiated in partnership with the Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH), the National Bar Association and the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), towards a roadmap to overcome the political, economic and social crisis, must be supported,” said Wadih Al-Asmar, President of EuroMed Rights.

Accused of being “traitors” and “terrorists,” the opponents of the regime of Kaïs Saïed are challenging the concentration of powers, in particular the supervision of the Ministry of Justice and the dismissal of many judges and prosecutors.

“The rule of law in Tunisia is on the brink of collapse,” added Wadih Al-Asmar, noting that the ban on demonstrations and the desire to isolate Tunisian civil society from its international contacts are other symptoms of the regime’s autocratic drift.”

On February 21, President Kaïs Saïed continued his diatribe by calling for “urgent measures” against the “hordes” of sub-Saharan migrants. His racist remarks, which were denounced worldwide, triggered xenophobic and violent attacks against migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, in addition to arbitrary arrests and deportations.

“Migrants have been expelled from their homes and fired from their jobs; children have been removed from their schools; women of sub-Saharan origin have been reportedly raped. Fear is growing among migrants who have been living in Tunisia, some for years, causing many families to leave the country to avoid facing violence,” said Rasmus Alenius Boserup, Executive Director of EuroMed Rights.

“The European Union and its Member States, in their bilateral relations with Tunisia, must make clear that arbitrary repression and incitement to racial hatred are unacceptable, and should express solidarity with all those arrested, defamed and subjected to violence,” affirmed the NGO official.


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