Geneva: Alkarama participates in a colloquium on repression in Tunisia during the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council

Rachid Mesli during a seminar on Tunisia

The director of Alkarama, lawyer Rachid Mesli, participated in a conference on the situation of human rights in Tunisia, organised by the Association of Victims of Torture (AVTT) in the margins of the 52nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.    

In his intervention at the conference, lawyer Mesli explained that the authority of Kaïs Saïed seems to be much worse than that of the Ben Ali era given the repression against lawyers and judges and the attack on political and civil liberties. Stressing that Said's coup had torpedoed the progress Tunisia had made in the field of human rights after the peaceful revolution, Mesli denounced the abuses the country was witnessing against lawyers and political activists.    

He also highlighted the deterioration of human rights in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Algeria, and the use of the banner of the war on terror to harass and attack human rights defenders and political opponents. He called for an end to the policy of targeting human rights defenders under the pretext of the war on terror.

This comes at a time when Tunisia is witnessing an escalating campaign of repression against civil society and political opponents of President Kaïs Saïed, prompting the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to express concern. His spokesman, Jeremy Lawrence, said nine people had been arrested and that some were being held on security and corruption charges. 

Alkarama was told that among the detainees was judge Bachir Akremi, about whom Alkarama and the Association of Victims of Torture in Tunisia (AVTT) filed a complaint with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, informing him that he had been subjected to intimidation and reprisals in the exercise of his functions and several arbitrary measures including his arrest and suspension.  

Another judge, a lawyer, a prominent businessman, the director of a radio station and a leader of the Islamist party Ennahda were also arrested.