Thursday, January 24, 2013

The government's success in suppressing

The government's success in suppressing violent Islamist extremists, along with its pro-western foreign policy, has moderated Western criticism of what some have characterized as Tunisia’s slow pace in improving democratic practices. Groups such as Amnesty International[14] have documented some restriction of basic human rights and obstruction of human rights organizations. HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery The Economist's 2008 Democracy Index ranks Tunisia 141 out of 167 studied countries and 143 out of 173 regarding freedom of the press.[15] Though the government received criticism in 2008 for its handling of social unrest in the town of Gafsa, it has been broadly praised for its efforts to respond constructively to the events. HP Compaq HSTNN-105C Battery Trade unionists initially arrested for protesting working conditions were released on the order of President Ben Ali and officially pardoned in October 2009[16] in a move that was welcomed by Amnesty International.[17] Levels of democracy and freedom of expression in the country are criticised by Amnesty International and various other organizations. HP Compaq HSTNN-C12C Battery   Freedom of the press is officially guaranteed and condoned, however, independent press remains restricted, as does a substantial amount of web content. Journalists are often obstructed from reporting on controversial events.[21] Prior to the Jasmine Revolution, Tunisia practiced internet censorship against popular websites such as YouTube. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C Battery Reporters Without Borders includes Tunisia in the country list of “Enemies of the Internet".[22] However, Tunisia has recently shown interest in improving its information policy, hosting the second half of the United Nations-sponsored World Summit on the Information Society in 2005, HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-4 Battery ]which endorsed the freedom of the internet as a platform for political participation and human rights protection. Furthermore, Tunisians have grown online, as witnessed by the more than 3.5 million regular internet users, 1.6 million Facebook users[24] and hundreds of internet cafes, known as ‘publinet.’ HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-5 Battery   Five private radio stations have been established, including Mosaique FM, Express FM, Shems FM [25] and private television stations such as Hannibal TV andNessma TV. The issue of Human rights in Tunisia, is complex, contradictory, and, in some regards, confusing in the wake of a revolution that began in December 2010 and overthrew the longstanding dictatorship of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C Battery While the immediate months after the revolution were characterized by significant improvements in the status of human rights, some of those advances have since been reversed. The entire situation, however, remains in a state of considerable flux, with different observers sometimes providing virtually irreconcilable accounts of the current status of human rights in that country. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-4 Battery   Long labeled “Not Free” by Freedom House, Tunisia was upgraded to “Partly Free” after the revolution, its political rights rating improving from 7 to 3 (with 7 the worst and 1 the best) and its civil liberties rating going from 5 to 4. A U.S. State Department report, issued in April 2011 depicts the status of human rights in that country on the eve of the revolution, HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-5 Battery citing “restrictions onfreedom of speech, press and association,” the “severe” intimidation of journalists, reprisals against critical of the government, questionable conduct of elections, and reports of arbitrary arrest, widespread corruption, official extortion, government influence over the judiciary, HP Compaq HSTNN-DB05 Battery extremely poor prison conditions, and the abuse and torture of detainees and prisoners, involving a wide range of torture methods. Defendants did not enjoy the right to a speedy trial, and access to evidence was often restricted; in cases involving family and inheritance law, judges often ignored civil law and applied sharia instead.[2] HP Compaq HSTNN-DB06 Battery   Although the principal cause of the revolt was a frustration over the country's dire economic situation, many leaders of the revolution were longtime human-rights activists and many participants shared their hope of replacing autocracy with a democratic government and a civil society in which human rights were respected. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB0E Battery As Christopher de Bellaigue noted in an article posted at the New York Review of Books website on December 18, 2012, Tunisia's new constitution is, “give or take a few vague references to Islam, strikingly secular. (It does not mention the Sharia, for instance, and guarantees equal rights for all Tunisian men and women.)”[3] HP Compaq HSTNN-DB11 Battery   The revolution initiated what Amnesty International has described as “a wholesale process of reform” under which “political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, were released; legal restrictions on political parties and NGOs were eased; the Department of State Security (DSS), notorious for torturing detainees with impunity, was dissolved; HP Compaq HSTNN-DB16 Battery Tunisia became party to additional international human rights treaties; and a new National Constituent Assembly was elected with a mandate to draft and agree a new Constitution.”[4] In July 2011, the UN opened its first human-rights office in north Africa. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB28 Battery “The whole world watched with amazement and growing respect as Tunisians kept demanding your rights, refusing to be cowed by the repression, the arrests, the torture and all the injuries and tragic loss of life that occurred,” the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said at the official opening of the office. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB29 Battery “The impact of these actions, on Tunisia itself, on the wider region, and indeed all across the world is hard to measure and is far from completed. But it has unquestionably been enormous and truly inspirational.” She noted that in the previous three weeks, Tunisia had had ratified four major treaties: HP Compaq HSTNN-DB67 Battery the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, the UN Convention on Enforced Disappearances, and the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court.[5] Since the revolution, however, according to de Bellaigue, “tensions have risen sharply between the three partners” in the post-revolutionary government, HP Compaq HSTNN-FB05 Battery “not least because the divisions between Islamists and secularists that the coalition was designed to bridge, or at least camouflage, are now obvious....increasingly, secularists and religious conservatives have been drawn into a vigorous culture war, in which the former invoke human rights, and the latter, Islamic law.”[6] HP Compaq HSTNN-FB18 Battery Moreover, under the current regime, as Amnesty International had pointed out, there have been “continuing human rights violations,” with security forces using excessive force against protesters, who have also been mistreated while in detention. The UN Special Rapporteur on Truth, Justice, Reparations and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, HP Compaq HSTNN-FB51 Battery urged Tunisian authorities in November 2012 to put human rights front and center in their transitional efforts.[7] In December 2012, at a World Human Rights Day ceremony in Carthage attended by several top Tunisian government officials, President Marzouki, while complaining about “an excessive freedom of expression of some media,” HP Compaq HSTNN-FB52 Battery lamented that “the path towards the construction of a human rights Tunisia is still difficult and full of traps.” One difficulty was that many Tunisians consider the new constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be at odds with Islamic values. Marzouki admitted that security officials need to undergo a radical change of mindset, HP Compaq HSTNN-I04C Battery while Speaker of the National Constituent Assembly Mustapha Ben Jaafar expressed thanks for the help given to the new regime by a number of human rights organisations. Problems aside, said Ben Jaafar, Tunisia's democratization was “on the right track” and the country was “moving towards a consensus on the new Constitution.” HP Compaq HSTNN-I12C Battery The President of the National Union of Tunisian Judges, Raoudha Labidi, however, charged that the exclusion of judges from the human-rights event represented a denial of judges' pre-revolutionary struggle, “adding that the judicial service is the guarantor of human rights and individual freedoms in the country.”[8] HP Compaq HSTNN-I39C Battery   In a December 2012 article, Dorra Megdiche Meziou took a cynical view of the Human Rights Day event. While acknowledging “the historic achievements of the incumbent President of the Republic, Moncef Marzouki, as a human rights activist,” noting that he had been on “the steering committee of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, HP Compaq HSTNN-I40C Battery ” belonged to “the Tunisian branch of Amnesty International,” served as “president of the Arab Committee for Human Rights,” and “co-founded the National Council for Liberties in Tunisia,” and while further acknowledging that Mustapha Ben Jaafar, too, had helped advance human rights as “a main figure in the Tunisian opposition,” HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C Battery Meziou complained that “serious violations and infringements of human rights” remain in today's Tunisia, and called on “these former activists of human rights who are now in power to get to work and translate their words into actions.”[9] In October 2012, Amnesty International said that Tunisia's revolutionary reforms had been eroded, HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-A Battery with recent months seeing “new restrictions on freedom of expression targetting journalists, artists, critics of the government, writers and bloggers,” leading to a journalists' strike. Also, protesters complaining that reforms have not been instituted quickly enough, “have been met with unnecessary and excessive force.” HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-B Battery In addition, Human Rights Watch documented the government's failure to look into attacks on political activists by radical Islamic groups.[10] Amnesty International admitted to “doubt” regarding the commitment of Tunisia's new leaders to reform, HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C Battery HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-A Battery saying that “Tunisia is at a crossroads” and calling for “urgent realise the rights and freedoms for which Tunisians fought so tenaciously and bravely in late 2010 and early 2011.” HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-B Battery,HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-A Battery,HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-B Battery

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