HRW urges Tunisia to extend rights commission’s mandate

Residents clean up a street after clashes between protesters and riot police in Siliana, northwest of Tunis December 2, 2012. (Reuters)
Updated 23 March 2018
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HRW urges Tunisia to extend rights commission’s mandate

TUNIS: Human Rights Watch on Friday urged Tunisia to extend the mandate of a commission set up to examine human rights violations during six decades of dictatorship.
The widely-praised Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD) was set up following the 2011 revolt that toppled dictator Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.
Tunisia’s parliament is set to vote on Saturday whether to prolong its work.
But HRW’s Tunisia director, Amna Guellali, accused Tunisian authorities of hampering the commission “by refusing to fully cooperate with it and by adopting a controversial law on administrative reconciliation.”
“By voting ‘no’ to extending the commission’s work, parliament would be voting ‘yes’ for impunity,” she said in a statement.
The commission has a five-year mandate to investigate human rights violations between 1957, when Habib Bourguiba became president, and 2013, when the IVD was set up in the wake of the revolution.
It aims to hold perpetrators to account and rehabilitate their victims.
A “no” vote on Saturday could force it to cease work in May.
That “would sabotage the fragile transitional justice process and trample the rights of victims to truth, justice and reparations,” Guellali said.


Israel to name Golan settlement after Trump

Updated 52 min 42 sec ago
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Israel to name Golan settlement after Trump

  • Netanyahu said in a video message that he would present a resolution to the government calling for a new settlement named after the US president
  • Trump recognized Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he plans to name a new settlement in the occupied Golan after US President Donald Trump in appreciation of his recognition of Israel’s claim of sovereignty there.
Netanyahu, who has been on a trip to the region with his family for the week-long Passover holiday, said in a video message that he would present a resolution to the government calling for a new settlement named after the US president.
“All Israelis were deeply moved when President Trump made his historic decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” he said.
Trump again broke with longstanding international consensus on March 25 when he recognized Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The decision came only two weeks ahead of a tightly contested Israeli election, which saw Netanyahu win a fifth term in office.
Trump has shifted US policy sharply in Israel’s favor since taking office, most notably by recognizing the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israel annexed 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the Golan it seized in 1981, a move never recognized by the international community.
Around 18,000 Syrians from the Druze sect — most of whom refuse to take Israeli citizenship — remain in the occupied Golan.
Some 20,000 Israeli settlers have moved there, spread over 33 settlements.