Tag Archives: Tunisia

Tunisia: Letter on the arrest, detention and prosecution of Abderrazak Kilani


In a joint letter Lawyers for Lawyers, the Law Society of England and Wales, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada express grave concern  about the arrest, detention and prosecution before a military tribunal of Abderrazak Kilani, a lawyer and former President of The Law Society of Tunisia from 2010 until 2012, as well as a former ambassador of Tunisia to the UN in Geneva.

On 2 January 2022, Mr. Kilani was contacted by the spouse of Mr. Noureddine Bhiri, asking for legal representation by Mr. Kilani for her husband. Mr. Bhiri is a lawyer, former Minister of Justice, and opposition politician. She told Mr. Kilani that her husband had been abducted by plainclothes police officers in front of their house on 31 December 2021. He had been held at an undisclosed location for two days and was subsequently admitted to Habib Bougatfa hospital in Bizerte with a deteriorated health condition. We were informed that, only at that stage, was he issued with an order for “house arrest”, without having been charged with any offence.

Mr. Bhiri’s spouse asked Mr. Kilani to accompany her to the hospital. Mr. Kilani asked police officers guarding Mr. Bhiri to meet with his client. That request was conveyed by the police to the Minister of the Interior, who denied it. Only Mr. Bhiri’s wife and the President of the Bar Council were permitted to meet with Mr. Bhiri. Mr. Kilani then told the security officers at the hospital that the Tunisian Constitution establishes that security forces should be neutral and serve the republic rather than any particular interest.

On 3 January 2022, the Minister of the Interior held a press conference where he said that “a respectable person had [incited the police and the public]” referring to a recording of Mr. Kilani’s encounter with the police at the hospital that was shared on social media. Mr. Kilani was subsequently investigated on charges of incitement to disobedience, as well as “belonging to a group likely to disturb public order”, “insulting public officials”, and “inciting [police officials] by violence, assault, threats, or fraudulent practices to cease performing their individual or collective duties”.

On 2 March 2022, a hearing took place before the military tribunal of Tunis during which Mr. Kilani’s pre-trial detention was ordered. He was sent to Mornaguia prison in Tunis where he remained in detention for approximately three weeks. On 21 March 2022, the investigating judge of the military tribunal of Tunis issued an order for his release and established the date of the next hearing before the military tribunal, which will take place on 12 May 2022. During this hearing, the merits of the charges against Mr. Kilani will be addressed.






Tunisia military judge orders release of president’s opponent/former Bar president


A Tunisian military judge on Monday ordered the release of Abd Errazak Kilani, a lawyer and prominent opponent of President Kais Saied, from prison pending trial, Kilani’s lawyer told Reuters.

Kilani was imprisoned this month on a charge of inciting police to break the law. The judge, who had the option of releasing Kilani, did not give a reason for the decision. A trial date has not been announced.

Last summer, Saied suspended parliament and seized most powers, in a move his opponents called a coup. He also changed the supreme judicial council reinforcing the one-man rule.

Kilani’s arrest this month sparked the anger‮ ‬of human rights groups at home and abroad, who accused President Saied of seeking to impose a dictatorial regime and using the military judiciary to target his opponents.

But Saied rejected accusations and said he did not interfere in the judiciary.





Dilou annonce la libération de l’ancien bâtonnier Abderrazak Kilani



https://www.amnesty.de/mitmachen/urgent-action/tunesien-tunesien-anwalt-vor-militaergericht-2022-03-21 (DEUTSCH)

Tunisia: Military Court Jails Prominent Lawyer


Suggests No Critic of President’s Power Grab is Safe

The jailing of a prominent lawyer on March 2, 2022, for arguing with police officers is an alarming new step in the confiscation of civil liberties since President Kais Saied seized extraordinary powers on July 25, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. Abderrazak Kilani, a former government minister and head of the national bar association, is one of the most prominent Tunisians to be put behind bars for his peaceful expression since the ouster of the authoritarian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

A military court has charged Kilani, a civilian, in connection with a verbal exchange he had with security officers who were denying him access to a hospital on January 2. He was trying to visit a client who had been taken there while under a form of house arrest. During the exchange he criticized the president.

“After placing scores of critics under ‘assigned residence’ house arrest or banning their travel, tossing Abderrazak Kilani into Mornaguia Prison sends a chilling new message that no one who criticizes President Saied’s power grab is safe,” said Salsabil Chellali, Tunisia director at Human Rights Watch. “

Kilani faces charges of “disturbing the public order,” “insulting public officials,” and “inciting [members of the security forces] by violence, assault, threats, or fraudulent practices to cease performing their individual or collective duties,” under articles 79, 125, and 136 of the penal code, Samir Dilou, one of his lawyers, told Human Rights Watch. The military court claims jurisdiction apparently because the speech in question was addressed to members of the security forces, Ridha Belhaj, another of his lawyers said. Kilani faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Kilani, 67, served as a deputy prime minister for relations with the Constituent Assembly from 2011 to 2013. He also has served as head of the bar association and as ambassador to the UN in Geneva. He is active in the Citizens against the Coup, an informal group of Tunisians who openly oppose Saied’s seizure of special powers.







https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2022/03/14/tunisie-un-tribunal-militaire-emprisonne-un-eminent-avocat (FRANCAIS)








Tunisie : Des organisations demandent la libération immédiate Me Abderrazak Kilani


Tunisia: Former National Bar Association head under military investigation


Qui est Abderrazak Kilani, l'élu de Kais Saied au poste de chef du  gouvernement ? | Tunisie Tribune

Two Tunisian attorneys confirmed on Friday that the authorities have referred former head of the National Bar Association Abderrazak Kilani for military investigation.

Attorney Hosni Al-Baji posted on Facebook: “My friend and fellow, Abderrazak Kilani, was referred to the military investigative judge.”

“He was referred due to his opinion, which he expressed, that it is not necessary to oblige the executive authority’s officials, especially the security agents, with instructions that violate the constitution and the law,” Al-Baji added.

Another attorney, who asked not to be named, said that Kilani: “Received an invitation yesterday through a notification addressed to the office of the branch’s head of the National Bar Association in Tunis.”

“The notification did not specify the date of the hearing or the charges brought against Kilani, provided that the military investigative judge shall send a second notification to the National Bar Association to set the date of the hearing and the charges,” the attorney elaborated.

It is noteworthy that Kilani is a member of the defence committee for parliament member Noureddine Bhiri, 63, who is under house arrest.





http://kapitalis.com/tunisie/2022/01/21/tunisie-me-abderrazak-kilani-convoque-par-la-justice-militaire/ (FRANCAIS)

Abderrazak Kilani : «Les menaces du ministre de l’Intérieur ne me font pas peur»




الحمد لله
تونس 21جانفي2022
✅ بيان
اثر صدور قرار النيابة العسكرية بفتح بحث تحقيقي ضد العميد عبد الرزاق الكيلاني فإن مجموعة محامون لحماية الحقوق والحريات :
📍1/تجدّد رفضها محاكمة المدنيين أمام المحاكم العسكرية في خرق واضح للدستور و المعاهدات و المواثيق الدولية.
📍2 /تعتبر إحالة العميد الأسبق للمحامين الأستاذ الكيلاني حلقة جديدة في مسلسل استهداف المحامين الفاضحين لإنتهاكات الإنقلاب و المتصدين للدفاع عن الحقوق و الحريات .
📍3/ تؤكد أن هذه الإحالات المتكررة للمحامين منذ 25جويلية لن تفتّ في عضد المحامين المناهضين للإنقلاب و لن توهن عزيمتهم في فضح ممارساته و لن تزيدهم إلا ثباتا و إصرارا على أداء رسالة المحاماة.
📍4/تستغرب اعتبار النيابة العسكرية تمسك العميد الكيلاني بتطبيق القوانين والدستور من قبيل الدعوة للعصيان و تعتبر أن إحالته بناءً على ذلك يعد إيهاما بجريمة موجبا للمساءلة الجزائية.
📍5/تحذّر من عودة الدكتاتورية و مضي سلطة الإنقلاب قدما للجمع بين السلطات و تركيز دولة الإستبداد و انتهاك الحقوق و قمع الحريات .
📍6/تدعو العميد و أعضاء الهيئة الوطنية للمحامين لتحمل مسؤولياتهم المهنية و التاريخية في الدفاع عن منظوريهم و الذود عن الحقوق و الحريات.
محامون لحماية الحقوق والحريات

May be an image of one or more people and text
May be an image of text that says "Action urgente Tunisie. Un ex-ministre et un ancien employé de l'état détenus de manière arbitraire. Avec nous, agissez pour Nourredine Bhiri et Fathi Beldi D"

Tunisia: Manif des Avocats: La police agresse l’ancien bâtonnier Abderrazek Kilani


Manif des Avocats: La police agresse Abderrazek Kilani, assure Dilou

L’ancien dirigeant du mouvement Ennahdha Samir Dilou a assuré, ce vendredi 14 janiver 2022, que les forces de l’ordre ont agressé l’ancien bâtonnier des avocats Abderrazek Kilani, lors de la manifestation des avocats.

Dilou a expliqué que ces derniers avaient organisé une marche de protestation mais ils ont été empochés d’accéder sur l’Avenue Habib Bourguiba.





https://www.arabnews.fr/node/52196/monde-arabe (ENGLISH)

Tunisia: Free Arbitrarily Detained Ex-Justice Minister


Former Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri (left) and former Interior Ministry employee Fethi Beldi are both in arbitrary detention in Tunisia since December 31, 2021.

Tunisian authorities should immediately release a former justice minister, Noureddine Bhiri, from arbitrary detention, Human Rights Watch said today.

Plainclothes police intercepted Bhiri on December 31, 2021 outside his home in Tunis and forced him into their vehicle, without showing an arrest warrant. His family did not know his whereabouts until he was taken to a hospital in Bizerte on January 2, 2022, where he remains under police guard. Fathi Beldi, a former Interior Ministry employee, was detained the same day in similar circumstances. His whereabouts have not been revealed.  

“The abduction-style detention of Noureddine Bhiri and Fathi Beldi demonstrates the growing threat to human rights protections since President Saied’s power grab last July,” said Eric Goldstein, acting Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should free Bhiri and Beldi now or, if they have evidence of an actual crime, charge them under the law. It’s that simple.”

The authorities have disclosed no formal charges against Bhiri. However, on the day he was seized, the Interior Ministry issued a statement referring to two unnamed people detained within the framework of a 1978 emergency decree, presumably Bhiri and Beldi. Judicial authorities, who normally oversee prosecutions, have not commented on either case.

President Saied suspended parliament on July 25, stripped its members of immunity, and dismissed the prime minister, saying it was necessary to act decisively to strengthen the country’s lagging economy and Covid-19 response.

Bhiri, 63, served as justice minister from 2011 to 2013, and is a member of the Tunisian bar. Bhiri is also a vice president of Ennahdha, the largest party in the parliament, and head of its parliamentary bloc. Ennahdha has denounced President Saied’s consolidation of power as a “coup” and demanded that he reopen parliament.

Bhiri is the first high-ranking Ennahdha figure to be placed in custody since Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted as president in 2011, imprisoned scores of senior leaders and thousands of members in an all-out campaign to crush the movement.

Bhiri was with his wife, Saida Akremi, a lawyer, when police detained him. They confiscated Akremi’s phone as she was trying to use it. 

The Interior Ministry’s statement that evening said the two people were detained as a “preventive measure dictated by the need to protect national security,” as permitted by article 5 of [Emergency] Decree 78-50 of January 26, 1978. 





https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2022/01/06/tunisie-liberer-lex-ministre-de-la-justice-detenu-arbitrairement (FRANCAIS)








https://www.hrw.org/ar/news/2022/01/06/380911 (ARABIC)

Tunisia: Des avocats manifestent pour demander la libération de Seïf Eddine Makhlouf


Des avocats manifestent pour demander la libération de Seïf Eddine Makhlouf

Des avocats ont manifesté, jeudi 21 octobre 2021, leur soutien à leur confrère Seïf Eddine Makhlouf.

Les avocats, durant une vidéo publiée à la même date par l’avocate Ines Harath, se sont regroupés sur les marches extérieurs du tribunal de première instance de Tunis.

Ils ont demandé la libération de Seïf Eddine Makhlouf mais appelé aussi à l’abolition de la comparution de civils devant les tribunaux militaires.

Pour rappel, Seïf Eddine Makhlouf a été arrêté le 27 septembre 2021. Il a fait l’objet de deux mandats de dépôt émis par le tribunal militaire dans l’affaire de l’aéroport et pour menaces et outrage à magistrat. Il a entamé une grève de la faim le jeudi 14 octobre 2021.






https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seifeddine_Makhlouf (ENGLISH)

Tunisia: Les avocats tunisiens concernés par la procédure S17


Une dérive sans précédent vient de se passer : On apprend de source sûre, que tous les avocats tunisiens ont été placés sous S17. Cette nouvelle mesure signifie qu’à chaque sortie du territoire, une consultation auprès de ministère de l’intérieur est effectuée par la police des frontières, causant un retard voire la perte du vol pour l’avocat.

Une telle mesure constitue un précédent grave et une atteinte à toute une corporation qui joue un rôle clé dans la défense des libertés publiques et individuelles.

Même aux heures les plus sombres de la période de Ben Ali une telle attaque à la liberté de circulation des avocats ne s’est jamais produite.

Il est du reste étonnant que le conseil de l’ordre des avocats et l’association des jeunes avocats ne se soient pas encore indignés d’une telle dérive. En effet, cette procédure implique un contrôle frontalier spécifique à l’aéroport à la sortie du territoire tunisien comme à l’entrée. Elle a pour but initial de contrôler les mouvements et déplacements des individus revenus des zones de conflits.



https://www.hakaekonline.com/article/133998/%D9%88%D8%B6%D8%B9-%D9%83%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D9%88%D9%86%D8%B3%D9%8A%D9%8A%D9%86-%D9%82%D9%8A%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%AC%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D8%AF%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A-s17 (ARABIC)

وزارة الداخلية تضع كل المحامين التونسيين قيد إجراء الاستشارة الحدودية S17، إشاعة إعلامية غير بريئة


Tunisia: Tunisie : L’ONAT dénonce la comparution d’avocats et de civils devant la justice militaire


L’Ordre national des avocats de Tunisie (ONAT) a dénoncé, samedi, la comparution d’avocats et de civils devant la justice militaire.

” Emettre un mandat de dépôt à l’encontre d’un avocat avant de l’interroger et d’entendre sa défense, est une violation de la loi, de la présomption d’innocence et du droit à la défense “, souligne-t-il dans un communiqué.

L’ONAT concède que ” les avocats ne sont pas au-dessus de la loi “, appelant à garantir les droits des citoyens et des procédures légales.

Il dit rejeter ” l’atteinte aux libertés et les pressions sur les droits fondamentaux et constitutionnels, et à leur tête la liberté d’expression, la liberté de manifester, l’intégrité du logement et le respect des données personnelles “.

Il appelle, en outre, à révéler sans délai toute la vérité sur les assassinats politiques et à traduire devant la justice tous ceux qui s’avèreront impliqués dans l’envoi de Tunisiens vers les zones de tensions, le terrorisme, la corruption financière et politique ainsi que la fraude électorale.

L’Ordre national des avocats a, par ailleurs, appelé le président de la République Kaïs Saïed à ” adresser des messages clairs et rassurants quant à l’avenir du pays ” et à ” prendre sans tarder les mesures permettant de sortir de la situation exceptionnelle et de rompre avec l’ancien système “.





Bhiri exprime sa solidarité avec ses confrères, les avocats Makhlouf, Tabib, Zargouba et Merghelli

Tunisia: Mandat de dépôt contre l’avocat Mehdi Zagrouba


Le tribunal militaire de Tunis a émis un mandat de dépôt en prison contre l’avocat Mehdi Zagrouba sur fond de l’affaire de l’aéroport Tunis-Carthage.

C’est la radio Mosaïque FM qui vient de confirmer cette information affirmant que la décision vient d’être prise par le juge d’instruction.

Le porte-parole de la Cour d’appel de Tunis, Habib Torkhani, avait annoncé qu’une enquête a été ouverte suite à une plainte formulée par le Syndicat de la garde présidentielle et les agents de la brigade des recherches de l’Aéroport Tunis-Carthage contre Seifeddine Makhlouf, avocat et député, et Mehdi Zagrouba, avocat, concernant l’affaire de l’incident de l’aéroport Tunis Carthage survenu le 15 mars dernier.



Tunisie : Mandat de dépôt du tribunal militaire contre l’avocat Mehdi Zagrouba