this report on a disturbing case from Tunisia:
- police union leader tried by military court
- in absentia
- without notice
- for impugning the reputation of the army
The Tunisian parliament, elected on October 26, 2014, should urgently reform all the laws that lead to prison terms for defamation offenses and insulting state institutions. When interpreting laws, judges should rely on article 49, which sets limits on the scope of permissible restrictions to rights and freedoms. This article states that any restrictions imposed on the human rights that the constitution guarantees must not compromise the essence of such rights; must not be imposed except where necessary in a civil and democratic society to protect the rights of others, public order, national defense, public health, or public morals; and that such restrictions must be proportionate to the intended objective.