[JURIST] Tunisia [US State Department backgrounder] is committing wide-spread human rights abuses under overly-broad anti-terrorism legislation [Amnesty backgrounder], according to a Monday report [text; press release] by Amnesty International [advocacy website]. Amnesty said that while the government claims to comply with international norms on due process and detainee treatment, it rarely investigates allegations of rights violations by state security organs:
The fact that gaping discrepancies exist between law and practice in the country signals a conscious refusal by the Tunisian authorities to fully subscribe to and abide by their obligations under international human rights law. The laws that should have increased protection have been routinely flouted by the Tunisian authorities, and have not served as an adequate safeguard against torture, unfair trial and other serious human rights abuses.Amnesty also criticized the US, as well as European and other Arab countries, for turning over terror suspects to Tunisian authorities [JURIST report] despite allegations of torture and other abuses. Reuters has more. BBC News has additional coverage.
In February, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the deportation [text] of a former Tunisian terrorism suspect, finding he would likely be subjected to torture [JURIST report] in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights [PDF text] if returned to Tunisia. In September 2007, Human Rights Watch released a report [text; press release] accusing Tunisian officials of mistreating two former Guantanamo detainees [JURIST report] after they were returned to the country.