Friday, February 3, 2023

Amnesty to Tunisia: get with it

Amnesty International has issued this strong statement condemning Tunisia's improper use of military courts to try civilians. Excerpt:

Amnesty International considers that the jurisdiction of military courts over criminal cases should be limited to trials of military personnel for breaches of military discipline.

Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Tunisia has ratified, guarantees the right to a trial before a “competent, independent, and impartial tribunal established by law.”

President [Kais] Saied is commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces and has the final word on the appointment of judges and prosecutors to military courts. Military prosecutors are also serving members of the military, and are therefore subject to disciplinary procedures. Consequently, Tunisia’s military courts are not independent as defined by international law.

Article 14 of the ICCPR also prohibits courts from prosecuting people for offenses for which they have already been tried and either convicted or acquitted, except in extraordinary circumstances.

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