Tunisian League for Human Rights could hold its Congress after 11 years

Outgoing LTDH president Mokhtar
Trifi and interim prime minister
Beji Caed Essebsi.
(Photo: TunisiaLive)

Sources: Associated Press, TunisiaLive, Agence Tunis Afrique Presse, Leaders, in French

The Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH, one of the focal points of Social Watch) held its annual congress for the first time in 11 years from Friday to Sunday. The group, barred from carrying out all activities under president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s regime, called on the country's next authorities for an independent justice system, respect for women's rights and the end of capital punishment.

Beji Caed Essebsi, Prime Minister of the Tunisian interim government, was present at the gathering, as were other known figures and human rights activists from throughout the Arab world. "It's like a dream," said outgoing LTDH president Mokhtar Trifi.

The conference focused on giving more opportunities of capacity development to young and female members and disseminating the culture of human rights all over the country.

The newly elected board of directors, presided by Saadeddine Zmerli, will monitor the October 23 election of a constituent assembly through 6,000 observers and will identify concerns about the transition, mass media and security.

The first LTDH’s Congress after the revolution that ousted Ben Ali presented an unbiased mosaic of participants, including Islamists and Independents.

The League was created in 1977. Since then, it has withstood hostility and oppression under the totalitarian governments headed by Habib Bourguiba and Ben Ali, whose regime dissolved the organization and annulled its activities.

“We still have a long way to go,” said former LTDH’s president Trifi, interviewed by Radio France International. “Torture still happens nowadays.”

The organization has already reopened its offices all across Tunisia and is ready to promote the human rights culture in the nation, according to journalist Ahmed Medien, of Tunisia Live news portal.