The Tunisian Ministry of Justice, through its representative, Kamel Eddine Ben Hassan, has announced that it is ready to set up a legal framework with American authorities to study the situation of five Tunisian citizens being held in prison in Guantanamo Bay. This came following a conference by the REPRIEVE organization yesterday, September 14th, in Tunis about the possibility of returning Tunisian detainees.
The Tunisian state will do its best to free them and expresses its concern about the follow-up of their situation. Their return will be done in a way guaranteeing their dignity and basic rights. Seven other Tunisian detainees’ legal situation is being studied. REPRIEVE contacted the the ministry to speed up the review of the trials of citizens tried outside Tunisia, and thus they benefited from general amnesty granted after the January 14th revolution, which put an end to all lawsuits based on the 2003 anti-terrorist law. Twelve Tunisians were detained following the fall of the Taliban government in 2001. No accusation of being an enemy combatant was established for any of the detainees.
Mr. Ben Hassan asserted that a decree will appear shortly to explain in detail compensation for detainees and the administrative adjustment of their situation. Those whose cases were dismissed from American and Tunisian justice have had their rights guaranteed. A Tunisian commission will be dispatched to take care of the case of Guantanamo Tunisian prisoners. Several representatives from political parties, organizations’ members of human rights and from civil society were present at they conference. They all heard testimonies of families of former Tunisian detainees as well as those of foreign detainees and the difficulty of their return to Tunisia. Mr. Ghazi Gherariri, member of the High Authority for the Achievement of Revolution Objectives (HAARO) criticized the Obama administration for its slowness in his promise to close Guantanamo in 2009 and called for the repeal of the anti-terrorist law.
Source: Al Mouharrer, Le Quotidien