First Published: 2017-05-18

Tunisia truth commission says state 'not cooperating'
Tunisian tribunal accuses government of not cooperating with its mission to investigate human rights violations oversix decades of dictatorship.
Middle East Online

Picture taken on November 17, 2016, in Tunis shows relatives of abuse victims watching live broadcast of testimonies

TUNIS - A Tunisian tribunal charged with healing the wounds of six decades of dictatorship in the North African country accused the state on Thursday of not cooperating with its work.

The Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD) was set up after the 2011 revolution that toppled the regime of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, to investigate human rights violations, hold perpetrators to account and rehabilitate their victims.

But IVD member Khaled Krichi said Thursday that the interior ministry had "rejected all requests for arbitration and conciliation sent to it by victims of human rights violations", including for torture and imprisonment.

"The main difficulty in the commission's work is the state's non-cooperation in matters relating to conciliation," he said at a press conference.

The IVD has broad powers and -- in principle -- full access to public archives.

Its mandate covers cases of torture and arbitrary imprisonment as well as corruption by civil servants and businessmen.

"We really hope for more interaction (from the state) and above all access to the archives related to our work, in particular at the interior and defence ministries," said IVD investigator Oulaa Ben Nejma.

The tribunal has spent more than three years examining decades of abuse under successive dictatorships since independence.

It has a five-year mandate to investigate human rights violations between 1957, when Habib Bourguiba took power, and 2013, when the IVD was set up in the wake of the revolution.

The IVD's criticism came as parliament debates a controversial bill that would allow officials facing prosecution for alleged corruption to be amnestied in exchange for reimbursing embezzled funds.

The bill, defended by President Beji Caid Essebsi, has prompted a backlash from civil society groups who say it would "whitewash the corrupt".

 

Britain probes jihadist network amid row with US intelligence

Trump gets rough ride in EU, NATO meeting

Qatari FM says country victim of smear campaign, particularly in US

Probe finds over 100 Mosul civilians killed in US air strike

Faz3a, a local NGO mobilising young people to help Mosul refugees

Turkey says over 4,000 judges, prosecutors dismissed since coup

US-led strikes kill 35 civilians in east Syria

Palestinian president says US should mediate hunger strike

Libya says working closely with Britain over concert attack

EU leaders, Erdogan meet in bid to ease tensions

Myanmar to deport Turkish family wanted for alleged coup links

Iran says it has built third underground missile factory

Saudi minister confident on oil output deal

Egyptians brace for austere Ramadan

Egypt blocks several media websites including Jazeera

IS suicide bomber kills five in Somalia

Israel uneasy over 'crazy' regional arms race

Algeria president replaces Prime Minister

16 civilians dead in coalition strikes near Raqa

4 arrested in Tunisia anti-corruption drive

German MPs call off Turkey visit as tensions fester

Palestinian hunger strike row draws solidarity, controversy

Britain raises terror alert, deploys troops after concert massacre

Qatar probes state news agency hack

At least 20 migrants killed in Mediterranean

Israeli joy at Trump visit lacks substance

Oman evacuates Australian man from Yemen

Bahrain police open fire on Shiite protest, kill five

Turkey arrests hunger strikers on terror charges

Jewish extremists ejected from Aqsa mosque compound

Prominent Egypt rights lawyer detained

Oil producers to extend output curbs at OPEC meeting

NATO aims to break Turkey-Austria partnership deadlock

Tunisia tensions simmer after protester's death

Terrorist bomb attack kills 22 at UK pop concert

Bahrain police raid Shiite sit-in killing one protester

Trump says Israelis, Palestinians ‘can make a deal’

Five dead in Syria car bomb attacks

Syria civilians suffer deadliest month of US-led strikes

US forces raid Al-Qaeda in Yemen, kill seven jihadists

Islamists to join Algeria cabinet despite poor results

Tunisia's 2.1% GDP growth marks economic upturn

Trump meets Palestinian leader in Bethlehem

Istanbul demolishes nightclub targeted in New Year attack

WHO says 315 cholera deaths in Yemen in under one month