On Tuesday, several Tunisian organisations stressed the need achieve transitional justice in order to “to avoid a serious setback in the transition towards a democratic political order.”
This came in a document distributed on Tuesday in a press conference held in Tunis with the participation of more than 40 independent organisations and Tunisian unions.
Among the participating organisations were The Tunisian Human Rights League; The Association of Tunisian Judges; The Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (ATFD); The National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT); The Constitution Network; The Tunisian Network for Transitional Justice; and The Tunisian Forum on Economic and Social Rights.
In a press statement after the conference, Naji Baghouri, director of the Tunisian Journalists Syndicate stressed that “there is no real democratic transition without accomplishing the transitional justice process, and that future generations must know what happened in the era of tyranny so that violations will not reoccur.”
“We cannot break with the past without achieving accountability. We must ensure that the culture of impunity will not take root and tyranny will not be reproduced in different forms,” he added.
Baghouri said, “There is an attempt to divert the course of transitional justice, and therefore the work of the Truth and Dignity Commission should be extended so that it can continue its work in the next seven months and complete its final report.”
In February, the Independent Constitutional Truth and Dignity Commission, which is responsible for the implementation of the country’s transitional justice law, decided to extend its work until the end of this year, but the parliament prevented this from happening in a vote last month.
The “Truth and Dignity” commission is a body charged with implementing the Transitional Justice Law on human rights violations under former presidents Habib Bourguiba (1956-1987), Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (1987-2011) and the 2011 post-revolution period until the end of December 2013.
The president of the Tunisian Human Rights League, Jamal Al-Musallam, said that “representatives of the organisations which participated in today’s conference will participate in the UN Human Rights Committee meetings which will be held in June.”
“The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Transitional Justice will be invited at an international symposium next month to defend the transitional justice process in Tunisia,” Baghouri said in a press statement following the conference.