The contemporary political history of Tunisia

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Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the state banquet in honor of President Ben Ali of Tunisia
From the ANC list, 6 April 1995.
Amnesty international condamne le process inequitable de Mohamed Mouadda
From Amnesty International, 28 February 1996. Mohamed Mouadda, leader of the opposition Social Democratic Movement (MSD), is convicted in an inequitable trial (in French).
Fear of ill-treatment/Incommunicado detention
Amnesty International, 24 February 1999. Abelmoumen Belanes had first been sentenced for membership in the Union de la jeunesse communiste (UJC), Young Communists’ Union, and participating in unauthorized meetings. Left-wing activists face periodic arrest in Tunisia. Over the past year thousands of opponents of the government have been detained for the peaceful expression of their beliefs. Immediately after arrest they are tortured and held in secret detention without access to their families, lawyers or anyone else in the outside world.
Tunisia bulletin
AI Urgent Action Bulletin, 10 February 2000. Hamma Hammami, spokesman of the unauthorised Parti communiste des ouvriers tunisiens (PCOT), Tunisian Workers’ Communist Party, has been on the run since February 1998. Several members of the Committee have faced Security Forces intimidation in recent weeks.
President Ben Ali Addresses Issues of Human Rights and Democracy
Tunisiaonline, 12 May 2001. In a wide ranging interview to independent Tunisian dailies, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali answered a variety of questions involving the promotion of human rights, democratization and the state of Tunisian media. In a particularly frank interview, he addressed several domestic and foreign policy issues.
The UGTT calls for greater liberties
ICFTU Online..., 18 July 2001. In his opening speech at the Regional Union of Workers Congress in Sfax on 14 July, the General Secretary of the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) Mr Abdesselem Jrad issued a strong call for greater democracy.
Political opponents must be released immediately
News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, 4 February 2002. Four members of the Tunisian Workers’ Communist Party (PCOT) were arrested and imprisoned on Saturday 2 February 2002. Hamma Hammami, Abdeljabbar Madouri and Samir Taamallah were retried after four years of living in hiding. In July 1999 they had been sentenced in absentia on charges of membership in an unauthorized association.
Democratic Bubble Bursts in Tunis
Opinion by David Monyae, Business Day (Johannesburg), 7 June 2002. The political achievements of Tunisia have been hailed; the transformation began in 1987 with the bloodless coup that freed the country from President Habib Bourguiba’s dictatorship after 31 years. The new president, Ben Ali, slowly navigated the country towards democracy. A disputed constitutional referendum was carried out last month, in which the president had control of voting procedures, to become president for life.