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Motion for a resolution - B9-0182/2023Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on  Tunisia: Recent attacks against freedom of expression and association and trade unions, in particular the case of journalist Noureddine Boutar

14.3.2023 - (2023/2588(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0171/2023

Procedure : 2023/2588(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on  Tunisia: Recent attacks against freedom of expression and association and trade unions, in particular the case of journalist Noureddine Boutar


The European Parliament,

-  having regard to Decree-Law No. 2022-54,


-  having regard to the Anti-Racist-Discrimination Law of 2018,


-  having regard to Rules 144 of its Rules of Procedure,


  1. whereas independent journalist Noureddine Boutar, who publicly criticized President Saied’s latest actions to achieve overall powers in September 2021, has been detained since February 13th 2023 for the suspicion of money laundering, illegal enrichment, conspiracy against national security and the use of the radio’s editorial line to attack and defame the president; whereas these accusations are unfounded since prosecution did not provide concrete sources on which to base their accusations; whereas since July 2021 Tunisian authorities have investigated or prosecuted at least 32 political opposition leaders, lawyers and journalists that have also publicly criticized President Saied´s increasingly authoritarian rule and obliterating of the rule of Law;


  1. whereas freedom of expression in Tunisia has been continuously deteriorating, especially since Decree-Law No. 2022-54 was enacted; whereas the Tunisian government has arrested union leaders after strikes to demand higher salaries, expulsed European Trade Union Secretary Esther Lynch after participating in them and banned the entry of trade unionists from at least six countries in Tunisia;


  1. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Noureddine Boutar; calls for the release of all political prisoners; condemns the violations of the rights of peaceful protesters and diaspora activists and those of migrants and refugees through xenophobia/discrimination or any kind of violence;


  1. Urges the Tunisian authorities to respect freedom of expression and association, guarantee a fair trial with all due process to detainees, access to lawyers and respect conditions of those detained, guarantee and cease the harassment of all journalists, lawyers and trade unionists; urges the authorities to fulfil their international human rights obligations in line with the EU-Tunisia Association Agreement;


  1. Calls for the EU and its Member States to continue raising with the Tunisian authorities the cases of detained journalists and prisoners of conscience and attend their trials; calls for the EU to use its leverage towards concrete improvements in the human rights situation in Tunisia, to call for a return of the rule of law, and condemn the abuse of judicial power to curtail freedom of speech; calls to the EU to review specific programmes of cooperation, such as with the judiciary, which has lost any vestige of independence;


  1. Calls for the EU and its Member States to seek an active and regular dialogue with relevant political stakeholders and representatives of civil society and support them to help Tunisia towards a stable future and return to an accountable and legitimate government;


  1. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the VP/HR, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of Tunisia.


Last updated: 14 March 2023
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