Youths gather around candles in Tunis on Saturday. Even after the deposing of the former president, political prisoners remain in Tunisian jails.
Even after the formation of a new government in Tunisia, an estimated 500 to 1,000 political prisoners are still being held in Tunisian jails, despite the post-Ben Ali government’s promise to release all political detainees. —JCL
The new Tunisian government is still holding between 500 and 1,000 prisoners accused of often vaguely worded terrorism offences, despite a promise to release all political detainees.
While hundreds of prisoners of conscience have already been released since the fall of the government of the dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last week, concern is mounting over the uncertain fate of a second group convicted under draconian anti-terror laws.
According to those familiar with their cases many were tried under deeply flawed legal procedures or had confessions tortured out of them, often after being targeted for their religious beliefs.