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Tunisia: UN expert to assess official actions to promote transitional justice

GENEVA (9 November 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff will visit Tunisia from 10 to 16 November to assess the measures adopted by the Government in relation to past abuses and promote transitional justice. This is the first country mission by the independent expert charged by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and advise on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.

“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,” Mr. de Greiff said. “Victims need to be at the centre of the reform process in order ensure its legitimacy and to help re-establish trust in state institutions.”

“Tunisia has been one of the first countries of the ‘Arab Spring’ to design measures to address past abuses, including violations committed during the peaceful protests leading to the fall of the previous regime, and to provide a legitimate and trustworthy ground for the society to move ahead,” he said. In April this year, the country embarked on a National Dialogue which is meant to culminate into the adoption of a law on transitional justice.

The four components of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate – truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence – aim to redress the legacies of massive human rights abuses, and to assist in providing recognition to victims, foster trust and reconciliation, and strengthen the rule of law.

“With my mission, I intend objectively and impartially to assess the work undertaken thus far in the area of transitional justice, and offer my assistance to the Government and the entire Tunisian society to find sustainable ways to move forward without ignoring the past,” he stressed.

Mr. de Greiff, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Tunisian authorities, is scheduled to meet with Government officials, representatives of the legislative and judicial branches, law enforcement officials, a broad range of civil society actors, the UN and diplomatic delegations. During his seven-day visit, he will visit Tunis, Sidi Bouzid and the region of Gafsa.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference to present his preliminary findings and recommendations in Tunis at the Hotel Golden Tulip Mechtel at the end of the visit on 16 November at 11:00.

Mr. de Greiff will present his report on the visit to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2013.


A human rights expert from Colombia, Pablo de Greiff, has been the Director of Research at the International Center for Transitional Justice since 2001. He has worked with different transitional justice bodies across the world and has provided advice to a number of Governments and multilateral institutions, and collaborated with numerous NGOs working with victims in many countries. Mr. de Greiff has published widely on the issues pertaining to his mandate and lectured in prominent universities.

The UN Human Rights Council established the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence in September 2011, and appointed Mr. de Greiff as the mandate’s first Special Rapporteur in March 2012, for a period of three years. The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/TruthJusticeReparation/Pages/Index.aspx

Check Mr. de Greiff’s first report on Transitional Justice to the UN General Assembly:
http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N12/508/01/PDF/N1250801.pdf?OpenElement or http://www.un.org/en/ga/third/67/documentslist.shtml

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Tunisia: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/MENARegion/Pages/TNIndex.aspx

For further information and media enquiries, please contact:
In Geneva (before the visit): Brenda Vukovic (+ 41 22 917 9635 / bvukovic@ohchr.org).
In Tunis (during the visit): Kora Andrieu (+216 25 65 19 22 / kandrieu@ohchr.org).

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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