Blog archive: Tunisia

  • 19th June 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Tunisia's parliament has approved a law which will criminalise human rights activists and others who make contact with "foreign organisations" with the aim of harming the country's "vital interests and its economic security". Offenders face up to five years' jail in peacetime or 12 years...
  • 25th March 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Human Rights Watch had a spot of bother earlier this week over a press conference in Tunisia to introduce its latest report on the regime's harassment of critics: "On March 22, the Minister for Communications, Oussama Romdhani, told Human Rights Watch that the government...
  • 27th January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Not to be outdone by Egypt holding a 
  • 22nd January 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Martin Scheinin, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, is due to begin a four-day fact-finding visit to Tunisia tomorrow. Scheinin, a Finnish professor of international law, angered the Egyptian government last October with a highly critical report...
  • 29th November 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There is speculation among bloggers and on Twitter about the health of the Tunisian president, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. The president, who is 73 and won a fifth presidential term in elections last month, abruptly cancelled a visit from the king of Spain which had been scheduled for last...
  • 9th November 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Reinvigorated after its meticulously orchestrated election victory, the Ben Ali regime in Tunisia is hard at work again. Fatma Riahi, a 34-year-old blogger and drama teacher from Monastir, was detained last week for interrogation – along with her computer. She has since been released...
  • 27th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    So. In "an atmosphere of repression" (© Human Rights Watch) president Ben Ali won the Tunisian election with 89.62% of the votes. That's a drop of almost five per cent on the 1994 result and 10 per cent less than in 1999 when he got a truly incredible 99.66%. If his support continues...
  • 25th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Tunisians are voting for a new parliament today and also re-electing Zine el Abidine Ben Ali for yet another presidential term. Ben Ali, who is 73, has been in power for almost 22 years. Three other candidates are contesting the presidency but it’s scarcely worth mentioning them....
  • 24th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Tunisian authorities are taking their usual efficient measures to ensure that uppity journalists do nothing to cast a shadow over President Ben Ali's re-election tomorrow. On Tuesday, Le Monde correspondent Florence Beaugé was refused entry and, after a night at Tunis airport, bundled back...
  • 24th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Tunisian 
  • 4th October 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    With just three weeks to go before Tunisia’s presidential and parliamentary elections, the Ettajdid Movement (one of the permitted opposition political parties) is complaining that half of its parliamentary candidate lists have been rejected by the authorities “without any convincing...
  • 21st September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    More harassment of the Tunisian regime’s critics: Abdallah Zouari, a journalist for the Islamist newspaper al-Fajr, spent 11 years in jail for "membership in an illegal organisation" (al-Nahda party) and "attempting to overthrow the state".  Following his release, he was forced to...

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