Freedom House, an NGO that researches democracy, political freedoms, and human rights, is set to release in 2013 a report reclassifying Tunisia from “a country void of freedom” to “a country with partial freedom.”
“Freedom House 0rganization will announce the 2012 classification of Tunisia in the field of freedom in January 2013 after the publication of the organization’s report,” said David Kramer, Freedom House’s executive director, at a press conference yesterday.
He pointed to the ongoing transition following the revolution as the reason for the change in Tunisia’s classification.
Kramer said Freedom House intends to increase financing for three specific fields that have already made significant improvements: freedom for justice, a fight against torture, and increased citizen participation in politics.
At the press conference, Kramer spoke with Charles Adwan and Mina Zapatero, directors of the Middle East and North African division of Freedom House. The three stressed the need to enshrine the principle of freedom, human rights, and gender equality within the text of the new Tunisian constitution.
Kramer also met in the Tunis suburb of Bardo with Head of the National Constituent Assembly Mustapha Ben Jaafar. The two men discussed increased cooperation between Tunisia and Freedom House, as well as the best way to preserve the democratic transition, according to a document published after the meeting.
Despite highlighting the many socio-economic challenges facing the country, Ben Jaafar stressed that with the help of Tunisia’s partners and friends the nation is determined to succeed in the transition process.
For his part, Kramer emphasized his appreciation of the political transition in Tunisia, and reaffirmed Freedom House’s commitment to maintain a constructive dialogue with all members of Tunisian society.