UN Condemns Harassment of Lawyers in Tunisia

Fri May 17 2024
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GENEVA: The United Nations on Friday strongly condemned recent arrests of lawyers in Tunisia, saying the detentions, undermined the rule of law in the country.

The arrests have also included political commentators and journalists.

Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told reporters in Geneva that raids in the past week on the Tunisia Bar Association undermine the rule of law and violate international law on the protection of the independence and function of lawyers.

She said such actions are forms of intimidation and harassment.

The arrests have triggered condemnations by Tunisia’s civil society and have sparked a global backlash, which Tunisia’s President Kais Saied has termed as foreign interference.

Civil society in the North African country termed the arrests as a crackdown on dissent in Tunisia that witnessed the onset of the Arab Spring.

The European Union voiced concern this week over the arrests, while the United States said they are contrary to the universal rights guaranteed by the constitution of the country.

Saied, who seized sweeping powers in 2021, on Thursday ordered the foreign ministry to summon ambassadors of several nations and inform them that Tunisia is a sovereign state and would not tolerate any kind of foreign interference.

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