The Tunisian Association for the Defense of Individual Freedoms
Dangers of Classifying "Ansar Echari’a" Terrorist Organization
Following the press conferences given on August 27 and 28 by the Head of Government and the Minister of the Interior, exposing photos and personal data of Tunisian citizens, not yet indicted by the courts and declaring "Ansar Echari'a" terrorist organization,
The ADLi recalls:
1. The wide publication of photos and personal data of Tunisian citizens not yet indicted by the courts constitutes a double attack: on the one hand to their right to image and to respect for their personal data and constitutes an attack on their dignity and to that of their relatives, on the other hand.
2. This dissemination of photos and personal data constitutes a serious breach of the presumption of innocence, the persons named and represented have already been indicted by the Ministry of the Interior before they are tried in the context of a fair trial ;
3. the classification of "Ansar Echari’a" as a terrorist organization contradicts the applicable legal rules. Indeed, it is the sole responsibility of the judiciary to declare any body whatsoever a "terrorist organization". The Ministry of the Interior must respect this procedure to establish the rules of the rule of law,
4.The classification of "Ansar Echari’a" as a terrorist organization will certainly limit the rights of its members, affiliates and sympathizers to the organization, association, assembly and movement,
In the face of all these considerations, and many others, the ADLI calls for:
1. Respect for the rules of a fair trial from which any citizen should benefit, regardless of their charge,
2. Respect for the principle of the presumption of innocence and personal responsibility,
3. Respect for human rights in their universal and interdependent sense, and to
4. The need for an adequate legal framework in the field of terrorism: either by adopting new legislation, or by applying the current framework by adapting it to human rights principles and the rules of fair trial and human dignity;
Finally, the ADLi recalls the duty of all, and in particular free citizens, the media, women and men of law, educators to fight terrorism and violence while respecting human rights and dignity .
For the ADLi Office
President Wahid Ferchichi