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Press release: Bill amending the Code of Criminal Procedures (CCP)

On the occasion of the holding, at the Assembly of People's Representatives, of a plenary session on 01/26/2016 devoted to the examination of a bill amending the Code of Criminal Procedures (CPC), and following the publication of the Association of Tunisian Magistrates (AMT) of a memorandum on the draft revision of the CPP, the signatory civil society organizations:

Emphasize the need for the amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure to comply with the Tunisian Constitution, in particular with its article 65 (Chapter 3) relating to the legislative power, which stipulates that all the texts of laws relating to the organization of the Justice and the judiciary and human rights and freedoms take the form of an organic law and not an ordinary law as currently proposed in the draft revision of the CPP.

· Insist on respect for the principle of equal rights between all suspects and to avoid any unjustified discrimination between them.

Recall the need to guarantee the rights of litigants to defense by allowing those in police custody to be able to contact and ensure the presence of a lawyer immediately after the arrest as well as before and during the interrogation, in accordance with a the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 3; ” Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person"), The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Art. 9 1. Everyone has the right to personal liberty and security) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.)

NGOs also recommend in this regard the need to:

Determine in a clear and restrictive manner the notion of "investigative requirements" which justify police custody. This measure should be the only way to achieve at least one of the following objectives: 

· Allow the execution of investigations involving the presence or participation of the person. 

· Guarantee the presentation of the person before the public prosecutor so that this magistrate can assess the follow-up to be given to the investigation. 

· Prevent the person from modifying material evidence or clues. 

·         Empêcher que la personne ne fasse pression sur les témoins ou les victimes ainsi que sur leur famille ou leurs proches.

·         Empêcher que la personne ne se concerte avec d’autres personnes susceptibles d’être ses coauteurs ou complices.

· Guarantee the implementation of measures designed to put an end to the crime or misdemeanor.

Also recall the need:

To determine with rigor the starting point of the duration of police custody, starting from the arrest of the suspect or his arrival at the police station, whichever is most favorable to it.

Inform the person in custody immédiatement par un officier de police judiciaire :

His placement in police custody and the reasons justifying his placement in police custody, as well as the duration of the measure and the extension (s) to which it may be subject.

Because it benefits from:

The right to notify a relative as well as, if she is of foreign nationality, the consular authorities of the State of which she is a national,

The right to be examined by a doctor. In the event of an extension, it may ask to be examined a second time.

The right to be assisted by a lawyer

· If applicable, the right to be assisted by an interpreter

If the person is deaf and cannot read or write, they should be assisted by a sign language interpreter or by any qualified person who understands a language or a method of communicating with them. It can also be used any technical device allowing to communicate with a person suffering from deafness.

Ask to rationalize the extension of the duration of police custody in order to limit the abuse of this exceptional measure and to determine the procedures for the assistance of the lawyer during the phases of the prosecution

Insist on the need to guarantee all the conditions for a fair trial, in particular by preserving the independence of the judiciary, and above all of the public prosecutor, which is part of the judicial justice system and enjoys the same constitutional guarantees (Article 115 of the constitution) by report to the executive power and against any political interference, et demandent à cet effet le retrait de l’article 10 bis du projet d’amendement du code.

Call for more consultation with civil society and the involvement of all judicial bodies as well as experts in the field in the revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

List of signatory NGOs:

Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights

Association of Tunisian Magistrates

Tunisian Forum of Economic and Social Rights

National Union of Tunisian Journalists

Committee for the Respect of Freedoms and Human Rights in Tunisia

The National Union of Tunisian Women

Vigilance

The Tunisian Association for the Defense of Individual Freedoms

Federation of Tunisian Citizens of the Two Shores

Tunisian Organization for Citizenship

International Federation of Human Rights 

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network / EuroMed Rights

Dated: 

Friday, January 29, 2016

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