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Tunisia: Breaking the cycle of injustice: Recommendations to the European Union

, Index number: MDE 30/014/2003

When the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement with Tunisia entered into force on 1 March 1998, it was the first bilateral accord in the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership to contain a legally binding human rights clause. Article 2, which now appears in similar agreements with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, stipulates that relations between the parties, as well as all the provisions of the Agreement itself, shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which guide their domestic and international policies and constitute an essential element of the Agreement. The five year period since the entry into force of the Agreement has been marked by a continued policy, condoned by the highest authorities of the Tunisian state, undermining respect for human rights. In view of this and repeated requests by EU institutions, the EU, and in particular the Council of Ministers, is warranted to act in order to give substance to the human rights commitments contained in Article 2, and unlock its potential for improving respect for all human rights, civil, economic, political and social. Amnesty International is calling on the EU, as matter of urgency, to engage Tunisia in a programme of action to bring its practices into line with the country’s obligations under national and international law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).

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