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Tunisia: UN expert to assess rights to peaceful assembly and association

GENEVA (13 September 2018) - The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Clement Nyaletsossi Voulé, will conduct an official visit to Tunisia from 17 to 28 September 2018.

"My goal is to identify the progress made since the 2011 revolution on the situation of the exercise of the rights to peaceful assembly and association, as well as the challenges faced in efforts to ensure the full enjoyment of these rights by the Tunisian people," said Voulé.

Tunisia has made significant progress on many fronts in the last seven years, including by establishing good collaboration with the UN human rights mechanisms, which has led to significant institutional reforms in a relatively short time. The role of civil society in this transition phase was significant and the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Quartet of the Tunisian National Dialogue, bringing together the Tunisian General Union of Labor (UGTT), the Tunisian Union industry, commerce and crafts (Utica), the National Order of Lawyers of Tunisia and the Tunisian League of Human Rights.

However, the lack of stable improvement of living conditions continues to provoke waves of protest, as evidenced by demonstrations against the deterioration of living conditions at the start of the year that marked the seventh anniversary of the revolution.

A number of issues will be examined, such as the 2018 finance law that sparked the January events of this year. In addition, the draft law on the National Register of Enterprises and Decree-Law 88-2011, which governs associations in Tunisia, will also be central points of the visit. In addition to the legal framework, the management of assemblies, the practices of the administration and non-state actors that may affect the rights of peaceful assembly and association will be addressed among others.

In order to discuss these issues, the Special Rapporteur will visit Tunis, Mednine, Kebili and Kairouan. He will meet senior officials including representatives of several ministries, members of parliament and the judiciary, and other public institutions. He will also meet with representatives of the different political parties, as well as representatives of NGOs, civil society and the United Nations team.

Voulé will share his preliminary conclusions at a news conference on Friday, 28 September at 11 am local time, at the Novotel (Av. Mohamed V) in Tunis. Access to the press conference is strictly reserved for journalists.

The findings and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur will be presented in a report to the 41st session of the Human Rights Council in June 2019.

ENDS

Mr. Clement Nyaletsossi Voulé, from Togo, was appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association in March 2018. He is a lawyer and currently works in Geneva in the field of human rights. He is an associate researcher at the Geneva Academy of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Prior to his appointment, he led the work of the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR). Mr. Voulé also worked as Secretary General of the Togolese Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, as campaigning officer for the Coalition for the Togolese International Criminal Court and as Secretary General of the Amnesty International section in Togo. Since 2011, Mr. Voulé has been an expert member of the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page - Tunisia

For more information and media requests please contact:

In Geneva before and after the visit: Mme María Vivar Aguirre (+41 22 917 91 79 / mvivaraguirre @ohchr.org) ou Mme Christelle Genoud (+41 22 917 99 74 / cgenoud@ohchr.org)
In Tunis during the visit: Mme María Vivar Aguirre ou Mme Christelle Genoud ( +41 79-444 4702, mvivaraguirre @ohchr.org, cgenoud@ohchr.org) ou M. Ahmed Aloui  (+216 98 745 086 / aaloui@ohchr.org )

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts please contact: Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+41 22 917 9383 / jlaurence@ohchr.org)

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.