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HRW considers Tunisia's use of house arrest "abusive".

(TAP) - "Human Rights Watch" organisation "HRW" said Tunisia's use of house arrest is "abusive."

"If Tunisian authorities continue to impose house arrest orders under the state of emergency, they should do so only for finite periods, deliver a written copy of the decision, and make it subject to meaningful challenge and judicial review," it said in a report released Monday.

"Each renewal of such detention orders should be subject to approval by a court, with the state authorities having to prove the necessity for ongoing detention," it added.

Under international standards, house arrests are considered as a form of detention and warrant certain safeguards to be considered lawful, even during a state of emergency.

Tunisia's use of house arrest for at least 139 people under a November 2015 state of emergency decree has left many facing stigmatisation and unable to pursue studies and work, Human Rights Watch recalled.

Tunisia director at Human Rights Watch Emna Guellali said states of emergency do not give governments a blank check to curb rights. "To be legitimate, exceptional measures such as house arrest need to be subject to appeal and time limits," she added.

Guellali said she met some people under house arrest for terrorism-related crimes, while the house-arrest decisions have no relation with the prosecution.

The Interior Ministry had decided in November 2015 to place under house arrest several individuals classified as "dangerous" by security units.

House-arrest was imposed against individuals returning from hotbeds of tension or belonging to terrorist groups, under Decree-Law No. 1978-50 on the organisation of the state of emergency.

In force since November 24, 2015, the state of emergency was declared after a bombing in Tunis killed 12 presidential guards and wounded 20 others.

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Publication:Agency Tunis Afrique Press
Geographic Code:6TUNI
Date:Oct 24, 2016
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