The Tunisian authorities must oppose any attempt to violate the rights and freedoms of the individuals during the month of Ramadan.
We, members of the Civil Collective for the defense of individual Liberties;
Noting, in previous years, multiple attacks and violations perpetrated against individual freedoms by public authorities, groups or individuals self-proclaimed protectors of religion and morality, in a context of total impunity;
Noting, in previous years as Ramadan approaches, the rise of hate speech against confessional diversity in our country and the increase of threats to the freedoms of conscience, religion, opinion and expression ;
Recalling the disturbing content of the repeated actions of the Ministry of the Interior agents in violation of the freedoms of conscience, religion, expression, opinion, and especially those relating to the arrest of non-fasters during the month of Ramadan, without any accessible and clear legal basis;
Recalling also the reply of former Minister of the Interior Lotfi Brahem to the question put by MP Hajer Bechikh Ahmed regarding the closure of cafes and restaurants during the month of Ramadan, in which he claims that he “takes measures during the month of Ramadan to ensure public order and respect for religious feelings of practicing citizens”;
Faced with this restricted, selective and conservative reading of the constitution, the Civil Collective for the Defense of Individual Liberties expresses its deepest concern about the way in which the authorities address the issue of individual liberties and condemns those positions that it considers to be not only the reason but also coverage that hides the spread of violence and hate speech, and a means to fuel extremism and reinforce terrorism.
For these reasons, the Civil Collective for Individual Liberties addresses this letter to the Tunisian authorities in order to remind it of its national and international commitments, in particular those set forth in the Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to ask it to refrain from violations of individual liberties for whatever reason, and calls on it to put an end to all attacks on individual freedoms by prosecuting and punishing aggressors (individuals or groups). Therefore:
- The Civil Collective for Individual Liberties calls on the President of the Republic to fulfill his constitutional obligations to “ensure compliance with the Constitution” (Article 72) as a coherent unit according to Article 146.
- The Civil Collective for Individual Liberties also asks the Head of Government, constitutionally responsible for “determining the general policy of the State and ensuring its implementation”, to repeal the circulars which flagrantly violate the provisions of the Constitution, in particular the circular issued in 1981 which provides for the closure of cafes and restaurants during the month of Ramadan, and generally calls on it to implement the provisions of the Constitution relating to rights and freedoms.
- The Civil Collective also calls on the Assembly of the Representatives of the People to assume its responsibilities regarding the revision of repressive laws, including the Penal Code, in order to adapt it to the new Constitution as regards the guarantee of rights and individual and collective freedoms.
- The Civil Collective for Individual Liberties reminds the Judiciary of its constitutional obligation to “protect the rights and freedoms of any infringement” (Article 49 of the Constitution), and “to guarantee the supremacy of the Constitution, the sovereignty of the law and the protection of rights and freedoms ” (Article 102 of the Constitution), and invites it to abandon any arbitrary legal proceedings in contradiction with the Constitution.
The Civil Collective for Individual Freedoms recalls that it has already resorted to justice in a first phase to protect these rights and freedoms and to provide justice to the victims of these violations and arbitrary arrests. The components of the Collective declare themselves ready to campaign using all legal means to uphold the Rule of Law, freedom of conscience and belief, equality and protection of individual liberties, and finally, the civil and democratic State enshrined in the Constitution of 27 January 2014.