Minority rights in Tunisia

From Greta Ghacibeh, Directrice, Association Tunisie Media

TUNIS – Khemaies Ksila, a member of the Constituent Assembly, explains that even though Tunisia is going through a transitional period, it has been suffering from a “general narrow-minded mentality,” especially when it comes to accepting others’ differences. Yemina Thabet, head of the Tunisian Association to Support Minorities added:

“Minorities have their own particularities and needs that have to be protected by the law. It is our role as a civil society to raise awareness about the matter.”

Thabet also refers to the importance of including minorities’ rights in the Constitution as a way to ensure a culture of tolerance for future generations.

In collaboration with Attounsia TV, AAM’s Tunis-based office—Association Tunisie Media (ATM)—brought together a panel of three government and civil society officials and an enthusiastic audience to discuss the concerns, demands and future of Tunisia’s minorities. These audience members were represented by a group of eleven participants belonging to different minority groups in Tunisia.

Religious, ethnic and social minorities stood face to face with Tunisia’s minister of Human Rights and Transitional Justice, Samir Dilou. Other guests included Souad Abdelrahim, president of the Legislative Committee for Rights and Freedoms and Foreign Affairs at the Constituent Assembly, and Abdelsattar Ben Moussa, president of the Tunisian League for Human Rights.

At the end of the town hall, Abdelrahim admitted that she was poorly informed on many issues concerning some minorities groups in Tunisia, and that this open debate helped her understand them better. Moussa added that a democracy cannot be complete unless it respects and protects its minorities.

After the town hall, panelist Souad Abdelrahim spoke about what she’d learned from the discussion, as did audience members Jemila Kamara and Rachid Rabhi.

This interactive town hall format provides a unique forum for Tunisian citizens to engage in dialogue with one another on the critical issues facing their country during the democratic transition. Learn more about the Association Tunisie Media (ATM) »

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