The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted last September 19 the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Tunisia.
Amnesty International (AI) commended the fact that Tunisia had backed up numerous important recommendations, such as the respect of freedom of expression, reinforcement of transitional justice mechanisms and institution of measures to fight impunity, the organisation said on its website.
Nevertheless, AI regrets that Tunisia rejected a recommendation regarding the decriminalisation of defamation, estimating that this rejection is "in flagrant contradiction with Tunisia's commitment to ensure respect of the freedom of expression."
"AI is deeply concerned about the ongoing use of repressive legislative measures dating back to Ben Ali's regime, which penalise the exercise of the right to freedom of expression, in particular the repeated use of articles 121 and 226 of the Penal Code to punish infringements of sanctities and trouble to public morality and order."
The organisation is also worried about the draft law submitted to the National Constituent Assembly last August to establish as a criminal offence the attack against the sacred and defamation of religion. AI "strongly" requests the rejection of this text.
Tunisia also rejected recommendations regarding the abolition of discrimination against women in law and in practice, Amnesty International regrets, calling the Tunisian authorities to re-consider their position.
AI specified that continuous discrimination deprives women from the full exercise of their fundamental rights, citing in this regard the example of the Personal Status Code's discriminatory provisions in matters such as inheritance and children custody.
Besides, the organisation points to the "ambiguous" formulation by reference to women as "associate" and "complementary" to men in the draft constitution.
The principle of full equality is not mentioned, it specifies, estimating that this "feeds fears about Tunisia's real will to implement the full equality and non-discrimination."
Furthermore, AI strongly deplores Tunisia's rejection of recommendations regarding the death penalty abolition and recommendations on decriminalisation of same-sex relations.