Tunisian justice goes under microscope

Nov. 9, 2012 at 12:35 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A U.N. envoy announced plans Friday for a weeklong visit to Tunisia to assess the government's promotion of transitional justice.

At the invitation of the Tunisian government, Pablo de Greiff, director of research at the International Center for Transitional Justice, heads Saturday to Tunisia as a U.N. special envoy to assess the government's justice system.

As the first country to witness revolution as part of the so-called Arab Spring, de Greiff said the government there was at the forefront of efforts aimed at addressing past abuses, including those targeting anti-government protesters.

"The country is at an important juncture to move from a regime marred by repression and corruption to a society based on the rule of law," he said in a statement. "Victims need to be at the center of the reform process in order ensure its legitimacy and to help re-establish trust in state institutions."

The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia ended the 24-year rule of former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and ushered Islamic party Ennahda to power. Rights groups have been critical of the new Tunisian government, though Prime Minister Hamadi Jabali told the European Foreign Affairs Committee recently that his government was obligated to uphold basic democratic principles.

"With my mission, I intend objectively and impartially to assess the work undertaken thus far in the area of transitional justice," said de Greiff.

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