3 January 2013

Tunisia: Draft Law On National Authority of Fight Against Torture Submitted to NCA

Tunis — A draft law on the national authority of fight against torture was submitted, on Thursday, by Human Rights and Transitional Justice Minister Samir Dilou to National Constituent Assembly (NCA) Speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar.

The draft law, which was submitted to the Assembly for examination, aims to restore the credibility of the State apparatus which are the guarantor of law enforcement, Mr. Samir Dilou said, assuring that "the people should understand that torture and Human rights' violation are no longer tolerated in a country that lived through a Revolution and ousted a dictatorship."

Mr. Ben Jaafar laid emphasis on the need to break with the spirit of revenge and reassure the Tunisian society about the government's will, notably the executive power, to show vigilance against torture.

He added that the law on transitional justice should be submitted to the NCA as soon as possible, specifying that "we need to seek reconciliation and turn the page after accountability and judgement."

The draft law on the national authority of fight against torture includes 24 articles on the authority's prerogatives, functioning and resources.

By virtue of this law, the authority pays regular and unexpected visits without prior authorisation to prisons to make sure of the absence of torture and bad treatment and the compliance of the imprisonment conditions with international standards and national legislation.

The draft law also proposes recommendations to fight against torture, in co-ordination with stakeholders.

The authority will be made up of 15 members, 6 of them represent civil society organisations active in Human rights defence, specialist doctors, academics, barristers and a retired judge.

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