Tunisia: Targeting of Lawyers Creates Climate of Fear

Tunisia lawyers

The targeted harassment and repression of lawyers by Tunisian authorities is a grave violation of their human rights and is condemnable. 

Development Diaries reports that the Tunisian government has launched criminal investigations against at least 20 lawyers who represent activists, members of political opposition groups, and victims of human rights crimes under false charges.

It is understood that some of the charges range from ‘offending others’, ‘accusing public officials of illegal acts without proof or the discharge of their duties as lawyers’, ‘verbally assaulting a public officer’ and ‘spreading fake news’. 

Lawyers play a crucial role in upholding justice and defending the rights of individuals, and when they are subjected to intimidation, arrest, or unfair trials, it undermines the very foundations of a democratic society. 

Such actions not only obstruct access to legal representation for those in need but also create a climate of fear and censorship within the legal profession, inhibiting lawyers from carrying out their duties without interference or persecution.

The consequences of targeting lawyers in Tunisia are detrimental to the country’s legal system and overall democratic principles.

It creates a loss of confidence in the state’s capacity to uphold fundamental human rights and erodes public confidence in the justice system’s fairness and impartiality.

Furthermore, it stifles dissent and critical voices within the legal community, hindering efforts to address systemic issues and promote accountability within the government. 

Development Diaries calls on the Tunisian government to stop the judicial harassment of the 20 lawyers under investigation for no other reason than the peaceful exercise of their human rights.

We also urge the government to take urgent action to safeguard the independence of lawyers and ensure that they can fulfil their essential role in upholding justice and defending human rights without fear of reprisal.

Photo source: Tunisie Numerique


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