ARTILCE 19 welcomes the adoption of the Tunisian Constitution, approved by the National Constituent Assembly by an overwhelming majority. It comes three years after protests led to the departure of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.
“This is a landmark step in the democratic transition process. We applaud the way in which different groups within the country have worked together to find a broad consensus, resolving political divisions that had stalled progress six months ago” said Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.
“The Constitution includes a considerable number of provisions that protect fundamental rights, including those on relating to access to information and gender equality. Some aspects of the constitution remain problematic however, including the restriction of religious speech by the prohibition of apostasy. The challenge is now for Tunisia to give life to the Constitution through creating legislation in accordance with international human rights standards concerning freedom of expression” said Hughes.
“Holding peaceful elections will be a key test in the consolidation of the emerging democracy in Tunisia” added Hughes.