Truth and Dignity Commission (Tunisia)

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Sihem Bensedrine, President of the Commission, speaking in 2012

The Truth and Dignity Commission (Arabic: هيئة الحقيقة والكرامة) (Hai'at ul-Ḥaqiqa wul-Karāma) (French: Instance Vérité et Dignité) is an independent tribunal established by law in Tunisia on 23 December 2013[1] and formally launched on 9 June 2014 by then-President Moncef Marzouki.[2] Established following the Tunisian Revolution, its purpose is to investigate gross human rights violations committed by the Tunisian State since 1955 and to provide compensation and rehabilitation to victims.[3] The Commission was given a four-year mandate (i.e. to 2018) with the possibility of a one-year extension.[4][5] Its president is the human rights activist Sihem Bensedrine.[6]

Final report[edit]

Bensedrine revealed the commission's final report on March 26, 2019. The 2,000-page, Arabic-language record of human rights abuses is available online. Among the offenses mentioned in the report are unfair trials in 1963 regarding an attempted military coup against President Habib Bourguiba; Tunisia's late president, Béji Caïd Essebsi, was involved in those trials as then-director of national security.[7]

Process[edit]

The Commission, which was designed to use judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, began gathering testimonies from victims of abuse under the old regime in September 2015. It continued to accept new cases until a cut-off date for registrations in June 2016,[8] by which time it had received over 62,000 submissions and heard testimony from about 11,000 people.[9] The Commission held its first public hearing in Tunis on 17 November 2016.[10]

The Commission has faced criticism on a number of grounds, including the slowness of its operations,[11] the basis of its approach,[12] and the fitness of its president,[13] among others. As a result of ongoing concerns, there was a delay in the parliamentary vote to approve the Commissions's budget for 2017[14] although it was eventually agreed by 121 votes to 28 with 21 abstentions.[15]

The Commission's members, as of late 2016, were Sihem Bensedrine (president), Ibtihel Abdellatif, Oula Ben Nejma, Mohammed Ben Salem, Ali Gherab, Khaled Krichi, Adel Maïzi, Hayet Ouertani and Slaheddine Rached.[16]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fredrik Florén, ambassadeur de Suède rend visite à l'IVD". Instance Vérité et Dignité (in French). 2015-01-27. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  2. ^ "Tunisia launches Truth and Dignity Commission". UNDP. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  3. ^ "Tunisia launches Truth and Dignity Commission". UNDP. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  4. ^ "A news and information website on justice and reconciliation processes". www.justiceinfo.net. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  5. ^ Overdahl, Stian. "Can Tunisia Break With Its Past?". zenith. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  6. ^ "The Tunisian woman tasked with bringing corrupt officials to justice". The Independent. 2015-09-09. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  7. ^ Blaise, Lilia (2019-03-28). "Tunisia Commission Releases Final Report on 50 Years of Dictatorship". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  8. ^ "A news and information website on justice and reconciliation processes". www.justiceinfo.net. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  9. ^ "Revolutionary Truth: Tunisian Victims Make History on First Night of Public Hearings for TDC". International Center for Transitional Justice. 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  10. ^ "Tunisia victims of abuse speak on TV". 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  11. ^ "A news and information website on justice and reconciliation processes". www.justiceinfo.net. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  12. ^ "Vérité et Dignité: Entre noble cause et instrumentalisation!". Al HuffPost Maghreb (in French). 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  13. ^ "La conjuration des imbéciles". Nawaat. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  14. ^ "Audition de Sihem Ben Sedrine à l'ARP: Les députés s'emportent". Al HuffPost Maghreb (in French). 2016-12-07. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  15. ^ "Malgré les critiques contre Ben Sedrine, les députés votent le budget de l'Instance Vérité et Dignité". Al HuffPost Maghreb (in French). 2016-12-08. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  16. ^ "Fredrik Florén, ambassadeur de Suède rend visite à l'IVD". Instance Vérité et Dignité (in French). 2015-01-27. Retrieved 2019-08-23.