Tunisia: Skyline condemns the arrest of a member of parliament and calls the authorities to respect fundamental rights
STOCKHOLM – Skyline expresses deep concern over the deteriorating health condition of the 63-year-old member of frozen Parliament, "Noureddine El-Beheiry", who was arrested by the Tunisian authorities. It stresses that the escalating violations in Tunisia constitute an unacceptable attack on legal rules that guaranteed freedom of opinion and expression and political rights without restriction or prosecution.
Thursday, Skyline states that the defense team for El-Beheiry ", deputy leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, who was arrested on December 31, 2021, confirmed in a press conference held yesterday, that El-Beheiry has been refusing food, water and medication in hospital, and that his condition is "between Life and Death". The defense team holds the Tunisian authorities fully responsible for the safety of " El-Beheiry" if he continued his strike.
El-Beheriy's defense had previously announced that the deputy leader of the Ennahda party - who held the position of the Minister of Justice - between (2011 and 2013) was transferred from an unknown person to the intensive care unit at the “Habib Bougatfa” hospital in Bizerte, north of the capital, without knowing his health condition accurately.
For its part, "Skyline" highlights the statements of the Tunisian Minister of the Interior, Tawfik Sharaf El-Din he made during a conference held last Monday. He said, "the decision to impose house arrest on El-Beheriy was taken based on serious suspicions of terrorism, and the Public Prosecution Office was notified of this decision". He further stated that the case includes “the deputy illegally granting citizenship certificates, identification cards and passports to unnamed persons, dating back to 2013.”
Skyline further indicates that, in a joint petition, more than 37 Tunisian and international organizations condemned the arrest of the deputy leader of the Ennahda Party, Noureddine El-Beheriy. They also criticized President Kais Saied's using (the law of the jungle) against his political opponents. These organizations also considered El-Beheriy arrest as “enforced disappearance, a human right, a legal crime, and a flagrant violation of international laws, charters and treaties ratified by the Tunisian state.
In turn, "Skyline" stresses that the human rights situation in Tunisia is in a continuous decline after the Tunisian President's resumed all powers in 25 July, 2021 and froze the Parliament and lifted the immunity of its deputies. These decisions restrict freedom of opinion and expression by monitoring newspapers and websites. They further restrict the right of movement and travel illegally, which constitutes a clear and unjustified violation of a wide range of rules and conventions of international law.
Despite the repeated statements of Tunisian President Kais Saied, that always stresses that “there is absolutely no room for infringement on human rights and freedoms, " the ongoing monitored facts monitored prove the opposite. There have been practices directly targeted a group of Fundamental rights guaranteed by international law, including freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly without threat or prosecution.
"Skyline" concludes its statement by calling on the President of the Republic, "Kais Saied", to undo all decisions that would unlawfully violate the basic rights of individuals, stressing that if these decisions continue, they will have disturbing consequences, as they seriously violate international law's rules and conventions.
Finally, Skyline calls on the Tunisian authorities to exercise a policy of restraint and enable individuals to exercise their right to express their opinions and start a comprehensive reform process by reactivating Parliament. It further calls for a comprehensive national dialogue in which all political forces participate in order to set up road map that ensures that individuals' right of expression is protected, and discusses mechanisms to restore stability to the country.