Tunisian elections: Establishing National Preventive Authority a priority

Thursday, October 2, 2014

In view of the upcoming first regular elections in Tunisia, leading international NGOs call upon candidates and political parties to adhere to key human rights priorities, among them practical steps for fighting torture and establishing the National Preventive Mechanism.

Amnesty International asks candidates to show their commitment to promptly establish the National Authority for the Prevention of Torture.

Preventing torture is also the first priority for Human Rights Watch, which urges the political parties to include in their platform a commitment to ensure that the National Authority for the Prevention of Torture will be promptly established and granted all the necessary means to conduct its work.

Tunisia’s National Constitutional Assembly adopted the law to establish the National Authority for the Prevention of Torture in October 2013, to fulfill its obligations under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture, ratified in June 2011. In spite of several public calls for candidates throughout 2014, the 16 members of the Authority have not been appointed yet. This might be related to the fact that it remains unclear if the Authority will be grated the necessary financial resources to fulfil its important mandate.

The APT fully supports the calls by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other international and national NGOs for commitments for the legislative body to appoint the members of the National Authority without delay, and for executive and legislative powers to ensure that the necessary financial resources are included in the State budget, including for 2015.

Tunisia’s first regular elections are scheduled for October 26, 2014. The first round of presidential elections will follow a month later, on 23 November. A second round of voting will take place on 28 December, if needed.

More information on OPCAT in Tunisia.