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U.N. rights delegation heads to Tunisia

Sept. 26, 2012 at 10:11 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A U.N. rights delegation announced plans to assess the role human rights defenders have played in Tunisia since the country's Jasmine Revolution in 2010.

A protest suicide in December 2010 sparked a wave of political upheavals across the Middle East and North Africa. Islamist party Ennahda has since dominated Tunisian politics.

Margaret Sekaggya, U.N. special envoy on human rights organizations, leads a delegation to Tunisia for a trip that concludes Oct. 5, a first since the country's revolution.

"Human rights defenders have played an essential part in the call for democracy, justice and human rights across the region," she said in a statement. "We are intrigued and excited to observe the working conditions of defenders of all generations in the country that in many ways triggered the Arab Spring."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met last week with Tunisian officials in Washington. She congratulated Tunisians who put their country on the road to democracy, warning spoilers against hijacking political progress.

A U.N. working group on discrimination against women had expressed concern that draft provisions on the Tunisian Constitution marked a major setback for women's role in modern society.

The group said the country's draft constitution contains provisions that describe women as "complementary" to men in the family.

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