Breaking: Membership of New Tunisian Government Announced

Breaking: Membership of New Tunisian Government Announced

A day after declaring that he had failed in the same task, Prime Minister designate Mehdi Jomaa announced Sunday evening his choices to serve in a new caretaker government.

 

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Behind a Death, a System in Need of Reform

image of Walid Denguir from his Facebook page, November 2013. Image credit: Tunisia Live

image of Walid Denguir from his Facebook page, November 2013. Image credit: Tunisia Live

The November 1 death of 32-year old Walid Denguir, allegedly at the hands of police, sheds light on a security apparatus and justice system still in need of reform almost three years since Tunisia’s revolution.

Last Friday afternoon, Denguir left his family’s home in the Bab Jdid neighborhood of Tunis. While details are still emerging, he was quickly arrested by police forces. Less than two hours later, his mother was called and told her son was dead.

At the hospital, Denguir’s mother and the family’s lawyer, prominent human rights advocate Radhia Nasraoui, saw what they called signs of torture on the body. Denguir’s skull reportedly appeared to be cracked and he was covered in bruises.

Lotfi Azzouz, director of the Amnesty International Tunisia office, connected Denguir’s case to pre-revolutionary abuses and said that the death highlighted the need to reform the Tunisian security and justice sectors.

“These cases continue to occur because there is no accountability and punishment is internal,” Azzouz said. Offenses by security officials within the Ministry of Interior, he added, usually are not dealt with by Tunisia’s criminal system, but rather are handled as internal administrative problems within the ministry.

On November 3, in a statement made through state news agency TAP but since taken down, the Ministry of Interior acknowledged that excessive force was used during Denguir’s interrogation and announced that an investigation would be made into his death.

When reached by phone, ministry spokesperson Mohamed Ali Aroui said that they were still waiting for the results of the investigation.

The Sidi el-Bechir police station denied knowing anything about Denguir and refused to answer any questions when called by Tunisia Live.

Azzouz said Denguir’s case was similar to that of Faycel Baraket, a 25-year-old Islamist activist killed while in police custody in 1991 under the rule of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. In that case, medical reports were censored and foreign experts were brought in to examine the body. After 22 years, Baraket’s family is still seeking justice.

The autopsy system in Tunisia needs to be reformed, Azzouz said, for the truth to surface in these cases. Yesterday, Tunisian newspaper Al-Chourouk reported that a medical report determined Denguir’s death to be drug-related, and not a result of police abuse. The report could not be verified, and members of Denguir’s family dismissed it as a rumor.

A new law passed last month creating a commission to prevent torture will deter more cases like Denguir’s, Azzouz said, but more still needs to be done.

Some security laws in Tunisia date back to the era of the Beys, Azzouz said, referring to Tunisia’s pre-independence monarchs. The internal structure of the Ministry of Interior is still unclear, he added. If it is unclear who is in charge to an outsider, accountability is difficult.

Security officers think of their job as semi-military, Azzouz said, adding that they need to think of their work as protecting, not attacking, people.

Asma Smadhi contributed reporting.

Tunisia Live http://www.tunisia-live.net/2013/11/06/behind-a-death-a-system-in-need-of-reform/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=behind-a-death-a-system-in-need-of-reform#sthash.GrnAhMD3.dpuf

Chaambi Suspects “Confess” on National TV

The Tunisian national television station Al Wataniya aired what it called “confessions” of two individuals suspected of involvement in the violence in Chaambi mountain on Friday.

Opposition Party Rejects Ennahdha Proposals for Dialogue and ‘Consensus Government’

06 August 2013

Rached Ghannouchi, January 2012. Image credit: Tunisia Live

Rached Ghannouchi, January 2012. Image credit: Tunisia Live

By Asma Smadhi
A leading opposition party has rejected calls for a new consensus government or popular referendum from Ennahdha’s chief Rached Ghannouchi.

Tunisia Mourns Soldiers, Seeks Answers

30 July 2013

By Nissaf Slama

The killing of eight soldiers yesterday in western Tunisia has led to calls for investigation and national solidarity from Tunisian political leaders, and heightened tensions among Tunisians living near the scene of the attack.

Tunisia Live http://www.tunisia-live.net/2013/07/30/tunisia-mourns-soldiers-seeks-answers/

Ministry of Defense communique names the soldiers killed in Monday’s ambush on Chaambi mountain 30 July 2013. Tunisia Live

Ministry of Defense communique names the soldiers killed in Monday’s ambush on Chaambi mountain 30 July 2013. Tunisia Live