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The transitional justice course in Tunisia: Origins, obstacles, and political constraints

Transitional justice is that complicated and integrated system of principles, rules, mechanisms, and means set to understand and address the past of gross violations of human rights by disclosing their truth, holding accountable those who are responsible, compensating and rehabilitating victims, reforming institutions and ensuring that violations do not recur.

Like many countries in the world, our country, during the 2011 14th January revolution had to face the bitter legacy of repression, injustice, and abuse that have taken place against Tunisians under tyranny that ruled our country for decades.

Transitional justice is one of the most important stages and paths adopted by several States in order to ensure the success of their transition to democracy and rule of law and to end definitively the past filled with gross violations of human rights.

I. The most important elements of the transitional justice system:

1/ Revealing the truth about gross violations of human rights:

These crimes constitute a serious violation of national human rights law and international human rights law, mainly assassinations, enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrests, torture, restriction of fundamental trade union freedoms, suppression of press freedom, the prohibition of rallies and demonstrations and suppression of popular movements.

2/ Accountability for those who are responsible directly and indirectly of committing violations:

Ensuring the principle of non-impunity necessarily requires accountability of all those who are responsible directly and indirectly of committing gross human rights violations; It is, therefore, should be noted in this section that accountability should be expanded to include all persons involved in violations both practically and directly through giving instructions and coverage and ensuring impunity, and indirectly through hiding the truth, so as to include all violators.

3/ Reparation, compensation and addressing symbolic, moral and material damages to victims:

The system of reparation is based on compensating symbolic, material and moral damages of the victim, and rehabilitation and reintegration of the victim’s rights.

Reparation can be individual or collective and should take into account the situation of marginalized groups (children, women, the elderly and persons with special needs).

The victim is everyone who has suffered damage as a result of a violation.

4/ Reform of State institutions:

The reform of the State institutions is designed to dismantle and address the system of corruption, repression, and tyranny in a way that ensures that it does not produce such violations again by ridding the State institutions and facilities of various mechanisms that establish repression, tyranny and corruption, thereby modernizing and restructuring their curricula and qualifying their agents to ensure the establishment of rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights and public and individual freedoms.

5/ Reconciliation:

Reconciliation aims at achieving social peace among all citizens and putting an end to the painful past of different violations, and spreading reassurance and comfortability among individuals in their social relations, and aims at establishing the trust of citizens in the State institutions in a democratic society.

However, reconciliation does not mean impunity, as impunity will continue to promote the cycle of violations.

The most important elements of the transitional justice system

1
Revealing the truth about gross violations of human rights
2
Accountability for those who are responsible directly and indirectly of committing violations
3
Reparation, compensation and addressing symbolic, moral and material damages to victims
4
Reform of State institutions
4
Reconciliation

II. Legal foundations of transitional justice

Transitional justice is different in terms of its reference and basis from traditional and lasting justice in all countries of the world which is based on an integrated legislative and regulatory system, to which the judiciary has jurisdiction over various matters and to which administrative institutions are bound.

Transitional justice was born from the experiences of various countries that witnessed the establishment of paths for transitional justice, especially the truth commissions that were established and whose work formed the backbone of transitional justice mechanisms.

1/ Truth Committees... The basic legal framework within the transitional justice system:

The truth commissions established in some 40 countries have accumulated very important experiments through their tireless work to uncover the truth of violations, which has led to establishing a very rich legal reference that is based on different experiences. It has contributed significantly to the establishment of a legal framework that would characterize the transitional justice mechanism in areas of truth and violations treatment, distinctive from other traditional research and investigation mechanisms that are established under the State laws for security organs, the judiciary and administrative institutions.

Since the transitional justice system was, in fact, an accumulation to main tracks and phases that many States had witnessed in this section and which aimed at addressing the past of gross human rights violations, it is necessary to outline the characteristics, performance and difficulties of some truth commissions:

2/brief presentation of characteristics and functioning of some truth commissions
Argentina 1983

National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons:
The will to hold accountable those who were responsible for gross violations of human rights has been confronted with a rebellion by military personals, who have been alleged to committing violations during the country’s military rule. Their aim was to press for stopping the series of trials against the military regime leadership that occurred.
The Board decided to end the accounting path under the title “the ending point”, to present later its final report under the slogan: “This will never happen again”.

Chile, 1990

National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation:
The Argentine-like course has also witnessed several manifestations of stumbling and clash with symbols of the former dictatorship and its loyalists.
However, the transitional experience in Chile had an advantage which was initiating institutional reform and including it as one of the most important components of transitional justice, so as to ensure that violations and amputation do not occur once and for all and to recur that painful past.
It should be noted that South Africa has been inspired by the Chilean experience to set the course for its institutional reform.

مسار العدالة الانتقاليّة  في تونس: النّشأة، التعثّر والإكراهات السياسيّة

Argentina

1983

National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation

مسار العدالة الانتقاليّة  في تونس: النّشأة، التعثّر والإكراهات السياسيّة

Chile

1990

National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation

مسار العدالة الانتقاليّة  في تونس: النّشأة، التعثّر والإكراهات السياسيّة

South Africa

1995

Commission for Truth and Reconciliation

مسار العدالة الانتقاليّة  في تونس: النّشأة، التعثّر والإكراهات السياسيّة

Morocco

2004

Equity and Reconciliation Commission

South Africa 1995

South African Commission for Truth and Reconciliation:
This experience represented a dedication to the value of amnesty through adopting a standard based on “Pardon in exchange for recognition and apology”.
The aim was to respond to civil peace demands and to move forward in accordance with national unity requirements, which was the result of years of debate that led to consensus based on the principle of “pardon in exchange for recognition and apology”.

Morocco 2004

The path of transitional justice in Morocco is characterized by the fact that it took place under the continuation of the political system, and was not aimed at removing completely the existing regime, which was attributed to many serious violations of human rights over decades during the reign of King Hassan II.

The Commission held several private hearings and public hearings on violations during the period described as “years of bullets”:

  • Political assassinations
  • Enforced disappearance
  • Arbitrary arrests
  • Political alienation
  • Suppression of popular uprisings
  • Suppression of political and trade union freedoms
  • Suppression of freedom of the press

The Moroccan experience did not witness a course of accountability and trial of those who are responsible for violations, but rather it went toward reconciliation based on amnesty and forgiveness in return for reparations for material and moral damage and rehabilitation for victims.

The Moroccan experience was characterized by the integration of gender approaches into transitional justice, since the phenomenon of women victims, both directly and indirectly, was prominent in the context of the violations that have taken place in Morocco.

The Commission did not take firm positions on violations that occurred during the mandate of the Commission itself.
The government and parliament institutions have not been involved in order to comply with the Commission’s recommendations and to follow up on them.
It did not have the authority to compel officials to provide it with information and testimonies that should lead to the full disclosure of the truth about the violations.
It did not take a firm stand or position on those who were responsible for abuses of officials for maintaining power, a position that would have lent much credibility to the Commission’s work.

مسار العدالة الانتقاليّة  في تونس: النّشأة، التعثّر والإكراهات السياسيّة
South African Commission for Truth and Reconciliation: pardon in exchange for recognition and apology
3/ Depending on transitional justice mechanisms on the international human rights law system:

As long as establishing a transitional justice mechanism aims at removing the past that was full of painful violations, establishing rule of law in a democratic society and seeking to protect human rights and public and individual freedoms, it is natural that international human rights law should constitute an important reference from which the bodies concerned with transitional justice should be established. This is as the first handshake between society and the international legal system, which was completely excluded in the regime of repression, tyranny and corruption.

International human rights law, which has been strengthened and enriched over decades by various United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, and committees concerned with the protection of human rights, is essentially the same and as important as that of various international and national human rights bodies and non-governmental organizations that sought the same goal. Today it is the basic ground to control protective human rights standards.

III. The course in Tunisia: Evolution and problems

The Transitional Justice path in Tunisia was established by Law No. 53 of 2013 of 24 December 2013 on the establishment and organization of transitional justice, as well as subsequent provisions on the establishment of the Truth and Dignity Commission, the establishment of the competent judicial bodies and the Charter of Communication with the Media.
However, it is initially observed that the will to establish a transitional justice course took place directly during the revolution by establishing the Commission on the Truth concerning serious violations of human rights during the revolution, such as the establishment of the Commission for Research and Investigation on Corruption issues and the Commission for the confiscation of property derived from the practice of corruption.

But the will of society has extended to the establishment of a comprehensive and complete system of transitional justice in its various mechanisms:

  • Revealing the truth about gross violations of human rights.
  • Accountability of those who are responsible for violations.
  • Reparation for victims and rehabilitation.
  • Arbitration and reconciliation.
  • Institutional reform.
  • National memory reservation.

The State is committed to apply the transitional justice system in all its fields, in a limited time period, and in this context, it is not acceptable to defend yourself according to the principle of non-retroactivity of legislation or obtaining a previous amnesty, the court’s jurisdiction or statutes of limitations.

It was natural that launching of a national dialogue on transitional justice should precede the establishment of the transitional justice system:

The decision of the Minister of Human Rights and Transitional Justice on 28 May 2012 to establish a body to oversee national and regional dialogue in various sectors in order to draft a Transitional Justice Bill.

It is a dialogue that has sought to involve all (parties, national organizations, professional bodies, victims’ associations, and human rights associations).
However, the work of the Technical Committee relating to the national dialogue was under partisan direction and selection issued by the Ministry of Human Rights and Transitional Justice. it did not stop at providing the logistic and organizational means for the national dialogue, but it worked on employing its party approach to the path, which negatively affected the dialogue and led to presenting a draft law that was cold and distorted, in addition to that debate and vote on the bill and amendments issued by the National Constituent Assembly, especially what related to the voting mechanism on the composition of the Truth and dignity Authority was obstructed.

The path of transitional justice is a human rights issue and falls at the core of the civil society competence, but the Truth and Dignity Commission has been established according to narrow party standards.
The political employment of national dialogue through listen to victims from a single political spectrum and the functioning of the Constituent National Assembly in this section resulted in a clash subsequent to the dialogue at the national and regional levels, and lead to the withdrawal of some civil society organizations, such as the independent national coordination of transitional justice. As well as disturbing the path of transitional justice, as subsequently indicated.

The Truth and Dignity Commission was established in the shadow of this heated conflict and has been engaged in a wide and intense debate that is now known to the public at its most prominent point: «The path is blocked and distorted due to political constraints»

The organization then worked in the shadow of this critical climate, which was observed since its inception, by adopting the voting mechanism to elect its members according to the criteria of the political par that had the majority inside the Constituent National Council, and it had a split within it due to the wave of resignations and dismissals among its members to the extent that it was obstructed in viewing the files before it and in organizing for public hearings, arbitration and reconciliation sessions, as well as having an aggravation in its relationship with the State organs that should have helped in securing the course and its success, as required by the Constitution, However, the fingerprints of political employment were clear and affected the course, this happened by moving the House of Representative’s political blocs with different composition and references from the constituent National Assembly, it was a political employment that reached the point of refusing the extension of the Commission’s duties for an additional year as required by the same law governing transitional justice, the refusal took the form of the Commission’s failure to complete its functions within the four-year period.

IV. Judicial bodies relevant to transitional justice

The Tunisian experience in the field of transitional justice is unique, as it included the possibility of referring some files to the judiciary in order to apply accountability standards, which is a key mechanism for ensuring non-impunity and that violations are not repeated.

Prosecution to address officials involved in case of their non-presence before the Truth Commission, or not apologizing to victims or non-acceptance of the victim to their apology.

The prosecution is, therefore, a continuation of the accountability path but before the judiciary, as the original authority of the law on criminal liability and for the enforcement of penal punishment if the conviction is confirmed.

I – Origins and jurisdiction:

Chapter 8 of the Transitional Justice Act:
“Shall be established by decree, specialized chambers, within the courts of the first instance, serving in the courts of appeal. It is composed of judges, chosen among those who did not participate in political trials and who will receive specific training on transitional justice.”

This is the text that established the judicial bodies concerned with transitional justice. We note in this section the requirement for their prior formation in the area of transitional justice to be compatible with the transitional justice system, which differs in terms of accountability and prosecution from the traditional judicial system that undertakes trials on the basis of a referral by the public prosecution, investigating judges or prosecution circuits and after the investigation done by the security forces and police.

Chapter 8 of the same Act provides that the Chambers in cases of serious violations of human rights undertake to:
As fixed in the ratified international conventions and in accordance with the law herein.

The same provision included but not limited to, some violations that fall within jurisdiction:

  • Voluntary homicide,
  • Rape and any other form of sexual violence,
  • Torture,
  • Enforced disappearance,
  • Death penalty without a guarantee of a fair trial.
  • Election fraud.
  • Financial corruption.
  • Forced migration for political reasons.

Some of the violations in the text have raised legal controversy in the judicial system, such as election fraud and forced migration as the Court will have legal difficulty if the Court was referred to it cases relating to the above charges as the Penal Code didn’t state these crimes so they cannot examine them in accordance with the principle of “Nulla poena sine lege” which is an essential principle for fair trials.

In fact, we can overcome this legal problem, through applying the law itself, as stated in the requirements of Chapter 8 of the law regulating transitional justice, which expressly provides that the competent judicial departments pledged transitional justice decide on the files referred to it by the Commission, on grounds of ratified international conventions.

The nature of these special transitional justice circuits which do not fall within the traditional judicial system would allow exceptions on approved sources of law if files were referred to it by the Commission, and therefore resorting to the legal provisions of the ratified international agreements and human rights, is a matter of logic and does go in accordance with the law.

Judges who make up today’s competent judicial transitional justice circuits were educated in the area of transitional justice and the system of international human rights legal was one of the most important themes in this education.

Our national judges are very conservative when It comes to applying international law in the cases before them, but they are obliged to do so if the files are related to transitional justice.

In return to the law governing the relevant jurisdictions, reference is made to the Organic Law No. 17 of 2014 of 12 June 2014 concerning provisions relating to transitional justice concerning the issues of martyrs and injured revolutionaries.

These issues were the subject of controversy among those who have competence in law and in civil society. This is due to the transmission of files to the military courts, with all the resulting blurring of the truth during the ongoing research and investigations in the military prosecution and the investigating judges in the military courts, and due to unfair trials against the heirs of the martyrs and the injured.

Under Law No. 17 of 2014, the competent judicial authorities are entitled to undertake once again the cases of the martyrs and the wounded of the Revolution, which took place from 17 December 2010 to 28 February 2013.

The main role of civil society organizations and the media is mobilizing public support for the justice of the martyrs and the wounded of the revolution and ensuring their legitimate right to a fair trial that reveals the full truth about those who were involved in crimes during the revolution to end their impunity as stated in provisions of article 20 of the Constitution that stated that “ International agreements approved and ratified by the Assembly of the Representatives of the People have a status superior to that of laws and inferior to that of the Constitution..”

Based on the requirements of the Constitution itself, the adoption of the international law of human rights as a legal framework to illuminate the judicial prosecution of violations and to consider its contents legal bases for criminalization and conviction of those who were involved in committing violations is in conformity with the Constitution’s requirements in this section.

It also noted that even the provisions of the previous Constitution stated in Article 35 that ratified international conventions are more powerful in terms of influence than laws, but given the state of fear and dependence of the judicial institution, which has been subject to employment under the authoritarian regime, the invocation \ of international norms and standards in cases before them was eliminated and in best cases was done conservatively.

Accordingly, the establishment of the competent judicial circuits for transitional justice that would decide on the cases referred to them from the Truth and Dignity Commission which are cases of most criminal serious crimes (such as murder, torture, financial corruption and looting of public money ..) awaiting a new jurisprudence that should be founded on international norms and standards in the field of rights human, in the light of referral decisions of the trial issued by the Truth and Dignity Commission

II - Competent Judicial Circuits

The establishment of competent judicial transitional justice circuits represents a newly born judicial mechanism that aims to launch re-trials in accordance with international standards for fair trials
The Commission will refer cases to these circuits files relating to violations which did not end in reconciliation (issues related to gross violations of human rights) or concluding reconciliation according to the mechanism of the Commission on Arbitration and Reconciliation (for issues of financial corruption)
Apologies if those who are involved in committing violations and the victim’s acceptance of them would close the file under reconciliation, and admitting charges for who were involved in financial corruption and their acceptance of returning looted funds derived from their financial corruption for the benefit of the state treasury, would close the files under the arbitration decision issued by the Commission.

As for the files that do not end in reconciliation, some of them will be forwarded to the competent judicial circuits, provided that they would be from the sixty-five thousand (65000) complaints filed before the Commission, as Courts would be viewing these violations of human rights occurred in our country, during the historical phase in the period from 07.01.1955 to 31.12.2013 (the time frame of the mandate of the Commission according to law).

It should be noted that in this regard, the historical stage which we referred to above, does not necessarily require pledged competent judicial circuits to decide on other violations committed within, but it depends on a referral from the Commission that should be based on specific complaints that were received from the victims, and therefore the substantive jurisdiction of the Truth Commission is restricted to the nature of the issues filed to it from the victims or their families (violations of human rights) and the request for arbitration and conciliation issued by some businessmen who were involved in financial corruption and their property were confiscated under the former Act that established the Commission.

As for the files that do not end in reconciliation, some of them will be forwarded to the competent judicial circuits, provided that they would be from the sixty-five thousand (65000) complaints filed before the Commission, as Courts would be viewing these violations of human rights occurred in our country, during the historical phase in the period from 07.01.1955 to 31.12.2013 (the time frame of the mandate of the Commission according to law)

It should be noted that in this regard, the historical stage which we referred to above, does not necessarily require pledged competent judicial circuits to decide on other violations committed within, but it depends on a referral from the Commission that should be based on specific complaints that were received from the victims, and therefore the substantive jurisdiction of the Truth Commission is restricted to the nature of the issues filed to it from the victims or their families (violations of human rights) and the request for arbitration and conciliation issued by some businessmen who were involved in financial corruption and their property were confiscated under the former Act that established the Commission

Re-trial in accordance with fair trial standards

For the issues that have been referred so far to the competent judicial circuits, we note that it has already been referred to the judiciary under the former regime, and has been made in complete violation of fair trial standards.
We recall in this section the following issues:

Victim: Nabil Barkati, a former activist of the Communist Party of workers, died under torture on 8 May 1987
Defendants: Security agents of Gaâfour region of Siliana Governorate (they were named and identified in the referral decision)
The court reviewing the case: The competent circuit of the Transitional Justice Court of First Instance of KEF
Opening hearings date: 4 July 2018
Charges: Intentional homicide, torture, arbitrary suspension and falsification of documents, applied the provisions of Chapters 101, 151, 204 and 250 of the Penal Code

Victim: Abdul Wahid al-Obeidi, was a student affiliated with the General Union of Tunisian Students, died on 19 June 1991
Defendants: they were named and identified in the referral decision and they were the Head of State and a number of ministers and security officials
The court reviewing the case: The competent circuit of the Transitional Justice Court of First Instance of Sousse
Opening hearings date: 12 July 2018
Charges: Intentional homicide, torture, forced disappearances, and arbitrary suspension

Victim: Rashid Chammakhi, belongs to Ennahda Movement, died on 27 October 1991
Defendants: Head of State and a number of ministers and security officials were named and identified in the referral decision
The court reviewing the case: The competent circuit of the Transitional Justice Court of First Instance in Nabeul
Opening hearings date: 29 June 2018
Charges: Intentional homicide, torture, rape, arbitrary suspension, applied the provisions of Chapters 101, 204, 227, 250 and 251 of the Penal Code

This is a sample of issues currently before the competent judicial circuits of transitional justice j which constitute a re-trial in accordance with fair trial standards, it is necessary to state that the legal fundamental principle which requires the inadmissibility of trying of a person twice on the same charges “Non-bis in idem /Double jeopardy” is not applicable here and cannot be a legal defense as the field of transitional justice is an exception as long as non-compliance of previous trials by of fair trial law and standards was proved, and as long as it was proved that these trials were made as a cover to ensure impunity.

Lawsuits resulting from the violations stipulated in Article 8 of this law shall not be subject to prescription.

Accordingly, the fundamental principle of law related to prescription “the effect of the lapse of time in creating and destroying rights” is not applicable here and subject to the same exception which is stated in the transitional justice law which allows re-opening cases files even if violations occurred decades ago.

The judiciary’s receiving of new files relating to violations is also a message for the judiciary to remember that it has always been subject to employment and was used as a tool for disposal of political opponents and human rights activists, and that time has come for the judiciary to put an end to all that, and to comply to law and international standards for fair trials in performing its duties without any influences.

It is also a message that the transitional justice course requires the completion of its stages including reforming the institutions (security, judicial, etc.) and preserving memory in accordance with the substantive national standards of integrity so the course can be completed under the title of: This will never be repeated again.

V- The specifics of media coverage of the transitional justice course

Respecting human rights and seeking to protect them is a professional, ethical and legal duty for journalists.

International standards have been stated in this section, like texts, charters, and declarations issued by the United Nations organs, as promoting the principles of freedom of information and the right of journalists to access to information and their right to be protected from all forms of violations.

It is not fit in this paper to display all the texts of protecting for the media and journalists, as related to the issue of media coverage of the path of transitional justice

What fits here is to display only specifics of the issue, so addressing the issue in this section is subject to certain characteristics related to the transitional justice course nature as required including certain precise controls that should be taken into account by journalists.

However, it is worth to be noted that the media’s functions and performance does not depend only on media’s coverage of the transitional justice course, but it has always been a source of resources and information upon which truth commissions depended, as it documented a range of grave violations of human rights and conduct that should be researched and investigated.

1. The media is one of the approved sources of monitoring violations
In the work of truth commissions which is specialized in investigating violations, resorting to media may also extend to the extent of their accreditation among the evidence in the prosecution of the most serious crimes: war crimes and crimes against humanity

2. Attribution of the legal status of witnesses to Reporters by the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
Returning to the specifics of media coverage related to transitional justice course, reference should be made to the principle of preserving confidentiality held by the members of the commission as they carry out their duties, based on what was included in the provisions of Chapter 69 of Resolution No. 1 of 2014 of 22 November 2014 related to controlling the internal system of the Truth and Dignity Commission.

3. The members of the commission, its agents, its currency and its collaborators are committed to:
preserving the professional secrets and the duty of reservation, and it is prohibited for them to divulge the work of the commission or publish it outside what is issued in its reports and data, which are the same provisions set forth in the provisions of Chapter 31 of Law No. 53 organizing transitional justice, and the following requirements have been added to it:

4. It is not permissible to obtain the documents that are in the possession of the Commission or to have access to them except by those who are concerned by it and those who are responsible for it accordingly, and in other cases, this is only possible under the permission of the Commission or the court.
We note, therefore, that access to information is not possible for journalists at this stage of the transitional justice process, due to the following:

  • Ensuring that the investigation is conducted far from external influences and risks assumed
  • Protection of victims during the entire investigation and research phase, and secret hearings sessions
  • Protection of witnesses
  • Protection of the perpetrators.

However, it is inevitable to work and contact the media directly at some point in the transitional justice course as this alone enables the community to see the results of the work of the Truth and Dignity Commission in the investigation and research phase entrusted to it, as it aims to mobilize public opinion regarding the importance of the transitional justice course within the overall societal course in the democratic transition.

5. Public hearings are the gateway to direct communication with the media and an effective tool in making the process succeed
There is no argument that the national and international media coverage of public hearings represents a major stage in the transitional justice path, it is necessary that media’s coverage enables public opinion to actually address the facts and circumstances related to violations filed before the Truth and Dignity Commission, by following the statements of victims, witnesses and perpetrators, Directly via audio, video or electronic media, as well as the written press.

However, contrary to the standards adopted in the overall media coverage, the media’s coping with this path is subject to restrictions that are usually unfamiliar in other areas, namely t restrictions stipulated by the Charter of communication with the media and prepared by the Truth and Dignity Commission for the purpose.

But these restrictions which may seem unfair and would impose a crackdown on media work and confiscate its right to access to information, are required due to the nature of the Commission’s work, which is supposed to resort initially to degree to victims’ desire and the conditions of witnesses and even the desire of the perpetrators to survive and not to be put under the media spotlight and subjected to interrogations of journalists

According to also to the harsh and painful nature of the violations under consideration during the public hearings, the Commission should resort to maximum safety and security standards, protection and impartiality during the performance of public hearings, which are standards that should be imposed on everyone, the media and other attendees of the hearing s from civil society organizations, parties and citizens.

And thus applause, comments, evaluation and other behaviors that would confuse the victims, witnesses or those responsible for the violation should be prohibited.
So according to this logic that gives almost holiness to public hearings, these were also applied restrictions on the media.

The restrictions that are imposed on the media in their attendance and coverage to of public hearing sessions, would soon be abandoned later, through media’s initiatives to launch a public debate on the cases before hearings and on the course of transitional justice course as a whole
This year’s general debate which is presented to public opinion witnesses the overlapping of several parties, who are directly and indirectly concerned with the path from the members of the commission itself, to victims, witnesses and even those who are responsible for violations, through parties, civil society associations, and legal professionals.

A public debate, moderated by the media, that seeks to evaluate and interact with the course and criticize it when necessary, while awaiting what will be revealed by the final report of the Truth and Dignity Commission if they cover public hearings.

In this regard, the reference goes to the fact that dealing with the issue according to a specific charter that includes restrictions, was almost the common denominator for many truth committees similar to the Moroccan case, where the Equity and Reconciliation Commission concluded an agreement with the audio-visual media, which included continuous coordination in programming and broadcasting sessions, public hearings, making advertising links for broadcasting dates and announcing sessions dates with newscasts, with continuous framing of press crews, in addition to the need for journalists to abide by the restrictions contained in the agreement and required by the standards related to organizing the plenary hearings sessions.

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