LTDH rejects “any pressure” on Judiciary

On the 46th anniversary of its creation, the Tunisian League of Human Rights (LTDH) said in a statement Saturday it was opposed to "pressure" on the judiciary, calling for the establishment of procedures to ensure the "effective" independence of the judiciary.

The league strongly condemned the "targeting of political activists" and the arrest of citizens for their political affiliation, denouncing "the abuses faced by detainees."

It said it had warned, after July 25, against "the reign of an autocratic regime that runs counter to the principles of participatory power."

In this context, the League denounced "the restriction of freedom of information and the harassment of journalists", calling for the acceleration of the withdrawal of Decree-Law No. 2022-54 of September 13, 2022, relating to the fight against offences relating to information and communication systems.

The fight against crime and corruption can only take place in the respect of the law and the rights of detainees, it recalled, warning against "any instrumentalisation of the state's mechanisms to repress political opponents and intimidate the opposition.

The LTDH also reaffirmed its commitment to the achievements of the Revolution, calling on the civil society to be vigilant and to pool efforts to confront any violation of freedoms.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Salvation Front holds rally in solidarity with detainees in case of conspiracy against State Security

The National Salvation Front, on Saturday afternoon, held a rally in solidarity with those detained in connection with judicial investigations, to demand their release and reveal the evidence of the charges against them related to conspiracy against state security and corruption.

A few dozen supporters of the Front and its leaders participated in the rally, including most notably Ahmed Najib Chebbi, Ennahda leaders, Ajmi Lourimi and Riyad Chaibi, and the head of the Labor and Achievement Party, Abdellatif Mekki.

Chaibi stressed in a speech at the rally the "successive arrests will not deter them from demanding a return to the democratic path and constitutional legitimacy┬╗ by all civil, peaceful and legal means.

Ahmed Nejib Chebbi told reporters the message sent through the rally is to "adhere to the demand for a return to constitutional legitimacy (the 2014 constitution) and to democracy and to preserve the unity of the Tunisian people through a national program agreed upon by all."

He, in this context, appreciated the efforts of the security forces, who formed a barrier to separate the supporters of the front and the supporters of Kais Saied. The latter rallied on the other side of the road.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

AfCFTA: Trade in Africa will be freed from customs tariff & barriers

Trade in Africa will be completely free of customs tariff and barriers by 2026, in accordance with the African Union's agenda, spokesman for the General Directorate of Customs Haithem Zannad said Saturday in Tunis .

Speaking at an awareness-raising conference on the theme: "Speeding up the implementation of the AfCFTA: What is the role of customs," held at the Tunisian Customs headquarters, in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the official said that Tunisia is among the first eight countries that have been selected to begin the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), which will help investors conquer the African market.

This "historical" agreement will ease procedures for investment and trade between African countries, he pointed out, adding that Tunisia has various mechanisms that help it adapt to the African market.

The spokesman said in this regard, that the Tunisian experience can be "pilot" in Africa.

Zannad also recalled that the Directorate General of Customs is currently working, in collaboration with various stakeholders, to facilitate export and import procedures on the African market, notably through the introduction of rules of origin aimed at reducing taxes and customs tariffs.

Taking the floor, Director of Economic and Commercial Cooperation at the Ministry of Trade and Export Development Lazhar Bennour pointed out that Tunisia is currently in the phase of "effective" implementation of the AfCFTA, which will help it export and import to and from African countries.

Besides, he called on the private sector to join this agreement, underlining the need to make the most of the new global orientation of privileging trade relations that serve the sustainable development goals.

The national strategy for the implementation of the AfCFTA was presented at this forum.

It was devised by the Ministry of Trade and Export Development in collaboration with the General Directorate of Customs and with the support of GIZ.

This strategy seeks to ensure that Tunisia can seize the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area and consolidate the country's regional integration.

The AfCFTA entered into force in May 2019. It was ratified by Tunisia on August 7, 2020. It is one of the flagship projects of the African Union (AU).

It aims to boost South-South cooperation for an "integrated, prosperous and peaceful" Africa in line with the AU's Agenda 2063 and to consolidate trade relations between the Union's 55 member States in a market totalling more than 300 million consumers and $3,400 billion in annual trade.

The agreement aims to remove customs barriers to the free movement of goods and services between African countries.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse