ASF in Tunisia

Location: Tunis Date of establishment: 2012 Team: 30 collaborators Facebook Page: ASF in Tunisia

Background

Four years after the revolution, a long period of transition came to an end in Tunisia in December 2014, allowing the adoption of a new constitution, the establishment of a democratically-elected parliament and the election of a new president.

Tunisia must now give substance to its pledges, guarantee the principles set out in the constitution, and set to work on an important reform process, in particular in the justice and prison sectors. The working priorities include:

  • Alignment of legislative texts with international standards;
  • Improvement of the independence and impartiality of the justice system;
  • Improvement of access to justice and state legal aid;
  • Reform of the Criminal Procedure Code, Article 13 of which will guarantee the systematic presence of a lawyer during custody;
  • Enhancement and respect of civil liberties;
  • Respect of the right to defence and to a fair trial;
  • Realisation of the mechanisms put in place to deal with the past (Truth and Dignity Commission and specialised courts): this involves allowing victims to be rehabilitated and rendering justice for State crimes committed during the dictatorship and the revolution.

Other sectors and issues remain important for Tunisia: respect of freedoms, in particular the freedom of expression, the establishment of local participatory governance, respect of economic and social rights, the rights of migrants, management of natural resources and legal responsibility of companies, in particular foreign ones.

This is the backdrop against which ASF is currently working, in particular by setting up several projects in collaboration with Tunisian stakeholders (human rights NGOs and legal professionals): these projects involve assisting them in reforming the justice system, establishing mechanisms for transitional justice, ensuring respect of human rights and setting up accessible, high-quality legal aid services.

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Projects

For the right to be different and the elimination of all forms of discrimination in Tunisia

Funding : Embassy of the Netherlands
Duration : 3 years (July 2022 > June 2024)

Reducing domestic servitude through capacity building

Funding: US department of State
Duration: 5 years (November 2021 > September 2026)

Strengthening civil society organisations in Tunisia

Funding: European Union
Duration: 5 years (March 2021 > February 2026)

Supporting Tunisian LGBTQI persons in the Fight for their Rights

Funding: US department of State
Duration: 7 years (October 2018 > October 2025)

Promoting a human rights-based model of development

Funding: European Union
Duration: 3 years (November 2022 > November 2022)

Protection of migrants in Tunisia and access to fundamental rights (ProMiTAD)

Funding: European Union, Swiss Cooperation
Duration: 3 years (December 2021 > December 2024)

Publications

November 21, 2022

(French) Joint statement - In solidarity with the inhabitants of Zarzis

November 19, 2022

(French) Joint statement - Campaign for the decriminalisation of poverty, status and activism

October 25, 2022

(Italian) Joint statement - Yet another tragedy of the coast of Zarzis: the search for truth and justice

October 21, 2022

Joint statement - Yet another tragedy of the coast of Zarzis : the search for truth and justice

News

September 22, 2022

Migration, a major strategic issue

Since 2014, more than 20,000 people have lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Europe. One of the main reasons behind this heavy human toll is the decision of EU Member States to close safe and legal access routes to Europe.

October 25, 2021

Prisons in Tunisia: inertia of a repressive system

In Tunisia, the actors of the penal chain tend to perpetuate the repressive reflexes of the former Ben Ali regime. Prison overcrowding remains very high: around 131% rate of occupation with 23,607 prisoners at the end of 2020 (accused and convicted together) for around 18,000 places available, resulting in detention conditions below international standards.

September 7, 2021

Between walls - Mohamed Ramsis Ayari "The real bête noir in prison is overcrowding"

(Nederlands) In het kader van het project “Alternative”, gefinancierd door de Europese Unie en uitgevoerd door ASF en ATL MST SIDA, streeft de Association des Juristes de Sfax naar de modernisering van het penitentiaire en strafrechtelijke systeem in Tunesië. Door middel van verschillende pleitbezorgings- en bewustmakingsactiviteiten met magistraten en gevangenispersoneel in Sfax werkt de vereniging vanuit het algemene streven om de overbevolking in de gevangenissen in Tunesië te verminderen, door met name alternatieven voor gevangenisstraffen uit te werken.