Counter-terrorism: UN human rights expert concludes follow up mission to Tunisia

, by DE SCHUTTER Olivier

GENEVA (26 May 2011) – At the conclusion of his official follow-up visit to Tunisia from 22 to 26 May the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Martin Scheinin, gave the following statement:

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Transitional Government of Tunisia for having invited me to the country for a second visit to assess first hand the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations contained in my report on the mission of January 2010* and to identify areas where reforms need to be done. I would like to express my appreciation to the Government for the open and fruitful discussions with many officials I have met, including on the highest level. I stress the need to carry out necessary reforms within the counter-terrorism framework, in compliance with international human rights law. I call for measures against impunity to secure accountability for crimes and human rights violations committed in the name of counter-terrorism.

During this visit, I had productive meetings with the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, the Minister of the Interior and Local Development, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Prosecutor-General for the Administration of Justice, the President of the fact-finding commission established to investigate human rights abuses since 17 December 2010, the spokesperson of the High Council for the realization of the objectives of the revolution, political reform, and democratic transition, and with law enforcement officials. Another important part of my mission formed the discussions I had with representatives of the civil society, including lawyers. I also visited the detention centre at Bouchoucha and Al Mornaguia Prison, where I was able to interview in private suspects of terrorism crimes.

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