Tunisia: Torture prevention mechanism in new constitution

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

An officially appointed committee will start working on a draft law to establish a national preventive mechanism (NPM) in Tunisia.

The Minister for Human Rights and Transitional Justice, Mr. Samir Dilou, announced the creation of this working group at a national dialogue about the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture that his Ministry had organized on the 19 of May in Tunis. Mr. Dilou stressed the political will of the authorities of Tunisia to prohibit torture and establish the NPM in the constitution. The working group should submit its draft project to the Constitutional Assembly within two months.

At the opening of the dialogue event, the APT paid tribute to the victims of the repression and the revolution and to all the courageous women and men that have defended human rights and brought cases of torture to light during the years of repression.

The APT underlined the potential of a strong NPM, while acknowledging that it will not replace other mechanisms needed to address past violations and bring justice and reparations to the victims. The APT also encouraged Tunisia to include victims of torture in the future torture prevention mechanism, as this will enhance credibility and effectiveness. The NPM will not replace urgently needed structural reforms of the judiciary and law enforcement sectors either, but it can potentially play and important role in directing and steering such reform processes. The APT will continue to support the NPM establishment process in Tunisia with advice and comparative examples.