The State prevents the commissioners of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights from meeting with independent civil society organizations

In African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights by

The African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) has, nowadays, two of its commissioners on a visit to Tunisia; Mrs. Reini Alapini-Gansou, Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights Defenders (from Benin) and Mrs. Soyata Maiga, Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Women Rights (from Mali). The two African officials were scheduled to meet Friday afternoon, 27 June 2008, with representatives of independent civil society organizations at the headquarters of la Ligue Tunisienne pour la Défense des Droits de l&#146Homme (LTDDH) (Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights). The meeting was agreed upon with the authorities Thursday morning, 26 June 2008; but, despite the agreement, scores of security forces surrounded the headquarters and precluded the representatives of the organizations from entering the premises; the forces claimed to be following instructions stating that no person, other than members of the board of directors, is allowed access to the headquarters. Accordingly, the African officials met with no other than the Chairman and members of the board.

The act of prevention, that the two African commissioners were informed of, was enforced against: Mrs. Khadiga Al-Sherif, Chairperson of the Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates (ATFD) (Tunisian Association of Democratic Women); Mrs. Saida Garrach, ATFD writer; Mrs. Radiyah Al-Diridy, Chairperson of the Association des Femmes Tunisiennes pour la Recherche et le Développement (AFTURD) (Association of Tunisian Women for Research and Development); Mr. Ali Ben Salem, Chairman of the Amicale Nationale des Anciens Résistants (ANAR) (National Association of Former Members of the Resistance); Mr. Al-Habib Mursit, Director of Amnesty International – Tunisia; Mr. Mohamed Al-Noury, Chairman of the Association of Freedom and Justice; Mr. Jalloul Azouna, President of the Association des Ecrivains Libres (AEL) (Association of Free Writers); Mr. Omar Mestiri, Spokesperson of the Conseil National pour Libertés en Tunisie (CNLT) (National Council for Liberties in Tunisia); Mr. Lotfi Amoudi, from the Association Internationale de Soutien aux Prisonniers Politiques (AISPP) (International Association for the Support of Political Prisoners); Mr. Lotfi Hidouri, from the Observatoire pour la Liberté de Presse, d&#146édition et de Creation en Tunisie (OLPEC) (Observatory for the Freedom of Press, Publishing and Creation in Tunisia), and Mr. Mounzir Shaarani, from the Association de Lutte contre la Torture en Tunisie (ALTT) (Association for the Fight Against Torture in Tunisia).

The board of directors of LTDDH condemns the act of prevention and considers it an encroachment upon independent civil society organizations as well as a deprecation of the human rights mechanisms of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. Furthermore, the board condemns the unjustified act of siege of LTDDH and demands not only its immediate lift, but also the lift of siege made on all its branches within the Republic. What&#146s more, the board demands that all LTDDH facilities and activist be allowed to freely defend human rights and disseminate its principles; amongst which is recognition of the right of all civil organizations to operate freely and under the framework of the organizational right secured by means of the constitution and in accordance with international standards.

Board of Directors
Mokhtar Al-Treify


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