More Tunisia abuse victims confront the past

2016-11-19 13:59


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Tunis - More victims of dictatorship in Tunisia testified on Friday on the second day of public hearings six years after the revolution.

Victims of rape and torture under successive dictatorships began testifying on live television on Thursday as Tunisia - in a rare move for the Arab world - tries to deal with decades of abuse.

The Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD) has tracked human rights violations committed between July 1955, a year before independence from France, and December 2013 when the fact-finding body was established.

The black years of rights violations in Tunisia cover the rule of Habib Bourguiba between 1957 and 1987, and of his successor Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was overthrown in 2011.

"I really hesitated before giving this testimony," said trade unionist Bechir Laabidi.

But "I am convinced that history cannot be written by the historians of the court. Our history is falsified, it was written on demand," he said.

This testimony must "remain for our children, for our generation, for researchers who want to know the truth," said Laabidi, who was arrested and tortured for his militancy under Ben Ali.

The next hearing date is scheduled for December 17 - six years to the day since street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, prompting mass protests that exploded into the Arab Spring.

The last broadcast will be on January 14, the anniversary of Ben Ali's final flight from the country he dominated for more than two decades.

Read more on:    zine el-abidine ben ali  |  tunisia  |  north africa

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