One month after the demonstrations which led to the departure of President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali, FIDH is following the process of transition towards democracy in Tunisia with particular attention.

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FIDH takes note of the international arrest warrant issued by Tunisian courts against former President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali, as well as his spouse Leila Trabelsi, for “unlawful acquisition of movable and immovable property” and “illegal foreign exchange transfers to other countries”, according to the Minister of Justice. FIDH calls upon the international community to offer Tunisia all the judicial co-operation and assistance necessary for the execution of this warrant. Hence, upon the demand of the Tunisian authorities, Interpol has launched a global alert in order for former President Ben Ali, as well as six of his relatives to be tracked down and arrested.

FIDH also takes note of the three commissions that have been formed by the transition government. They should effectively play an important role in favour of the victims of grave human rights violations, as well as for the building up of responsible and transparent institutions that should enable a free and democratic society to evolve and to be safeguarded. The developing process of transitional justice, including the formation of a commission for truth, justice and reconciliation, will certainly contribute to that. FIDH reiterates its call upon the international community to support these first moves in the new direction. This is the message FIDH has conveyed to Mr. Vimont, General Secretary of the new European External Action Service (EEAS) of the European Union, as well as Mrs. Pillay, UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, and Mr. Diouf, Secretary General of the International Organisation of French-Speaking Communities. In addition, FIDH has also delivered this message at the 16th Summit of the African Union (AU) in Addis Abeba.

On the other hand, FIDH is concerned about the security situation in the country, which remains unstable. The prison situation has reached alarming proportions:
According to the information we have, real bullet shots are said to have caused countless casualties in several of the country’s prisons. Several families of prisoners were prevented from visiting the prisoners and supplying them with food. Following these incidents, some of the prisoners escaped (9,500 prisoners are still on the run). A mutiny in the prison of Monastir is reported to have led to some 40 casualties.

In addition, FIDH is preoccupied with the area of application of the amnesty law and would hope that it will enable the release of all those who have been held in arbitrary detention.

Moreover, several incidents have been reported over the last few days, and clashes with the militias of Ben Ali are to be feared. As a matter of fact, the premises of the General Union of Tunisian Workers (Union générale des travailleurs tunisiens - UGTT) in Monastir and Béja have already been occupied by the militias of former President Ben Ali since Tuesday, 25th January 2011. FIDH is concerned about the lack of information about the state of the militias and the groups supporting the regime of Ben Ali.

As far as these various issues are concerned, FIDH calls upon the transition government of Tunisia to take any necessary and appropriate measures and to announce any decisions made in public.

FIDH, which is very strongly involved in the field via its three affiliate member organisations, as well as the members of its International Board, continues to follow the development of the situation in Tunisia with the greatest attention.

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