Tunisia before the United Nations’ Human Rights Council

The universal periodic review of untruths

Tunisia presented its report for the Universal Periodic Review at the 41st session of the Human Rights Council on Wednesday, November 8, 2022.

This report contains a very large number of half-truths and untruths that aim to present a false idea of the human rights situation in a country shaken since 2020 by very serious crises: health (related to COVID 19), political (related to instability since 2011), social (a high unemployment rate and a dropout rate of the most alarming), financial and economic (a budget deficit and a debt that threatens the sovereignty of the State),

Faced with this situation, the State took the opportunity to relate its achievements and accomplishments covering the period 2017-2022 presenting a large number of international texts ratified, but which served only as a showcase, since these ratifications have not been followed by implementation.

Citing the promulgation of a large number of legal texts on the constitutional court, the fight against racial discrimination, the human rights commission, the authority of good governance and the fight against corruption, the authority of sustainable development and rights of future generations … while all the structures resulting from these laws have never been functional!

The Tunisian report presented the new constitution (of July 25, 2022) and the reforms introduced on the Higher Council of the Judiciary (CSM) and the Independent Superior Electoral Authority (ISIE) as measures that strengthen the country’s democratic process. However, the reforms introduced by the president of the Republic since July 25, 2021 (including the constitution that he himself has drafted), had only reinforced the concentration of power in the hands of the head of state by weakening the other powers, making the Higher Council of the Judiciary and the Independent High Electoral Authority, structures dependent on the goodwill of the President.

Likewise, the Tunisian State Report considers that the proposed reforms of the laws on associations and the judicial and police apparatus are intended to strengthen the rule of law and fight against impunity. However, the project to amend the decree-law on associations is only intended to establish a very tight control and extend the authority of the administration over these structures. While no real measures have been able to prevent impunity, which has led to massive violations of fundamental rights: freedom of demonstration, freedom of expression, as well as bringing civilians before military courts.

Finally, the Tunisian report openly neglects environmental, cultural and artistic rights as well as transitional justice.

This report, which recalls that of 2008, when Tunisia lived dark days under the dictatorship, should encourage all components of civil society and actors of the media to be vigilant and to fight with all peaceful means this authoritarian drift.

Read this document in PDF format: Press Release: Tunisia before the Human Rights Council