Efforts taken by the state after the Tunisian revolution to strengthen human rights protection have been tainted with violations to fundamental guarantees and fair trial rights, especially committed in the framework of counter-terrorism and national security cases. The counter-terrorism law currently in force defines terrorism broadly and establishes a legal regime which severely restricts fundamental legal safeguards for persons held in custody.
In the wake of a series of deadly attacks in 2015, the executive has regularly prolonged the state of emergency, granting the Ministry of Interior exceptional powers, such as carrying out home arrests and imposing curfews. The maintenance of public order has also been used as justification to restrict the freedoms of assembly, association and expression.
In the field of transitional justice, a commission was established to investigate the serious human rights violations committed between 1955 and 2013. As the commission’s mandate has not been extended, and given the low number of cases referred to specialised courts, many victims and families now fear that impunity for past crimes will prevail. Alongside the lack of security sector vetting and reform and the interference of the executive in the judiciary, the situation does not allow for effective measures to avoid the repetition of past practices of human rights violations.