The Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) held this afternoon a press conference at its headquarters to show solidarity with Habib Kazdaghli, dean of the University of Arts and Humanities in Manouba, who stands accused of aggressing a fully veiled student.
The press conference was held the day before Kazdaghli’s trial. If he is found guilty, he faces a potential five years of prison as well according to Article 101 of the Penal Code, which governs the conduct of public officials.
“We are calling for the suit against Kazdaghli to be dropped and at the same time for judicial reform,” said Houcine Boujarra, secretary general of the General Federation of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
He added that there will be a gathering tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. in front of the UGTT headquarters to denounce the unfairness of the trial.
UGTT’s Deputy General Secretary Samir Chefii denounced those political parties, which, according to him, took advantage of ideological differences in the country to “get rid of intellectual people” and serve their personal agendas.
“The series of violence in Manouba University could have been stopped if there was a political determination to end it,” stated Chefii.
In the same context, Samir Aouadi, president of the Observatory of Academic Freedoms of Tunisian University Teachers, pointed to the way he sees authorities ignoring violence against teachers.
“We [the observatory's members] spotted around 100 cases of aggressed teachers, yet the authorities are totally indiferent,” said Aouadi.