Last summer, the Tunisian government had already tried to pass a law, known as the economic reconciliation law, and that would allow people who stole public funds and committed other financial crimes to enjoy amnesty for past crimes. That draft law was proposed by the President of the Republic. It stirred controversy among politicians, anti-corruption activists and ordinary citizens. Several Tunisians had repeatedly taken to the streets to show their opposition to such a law allowing the most corrupted people of the old regime to escape accountability.
At the time, the protests halted the parliamentary debate on the bill. Nevertheless, on June 29, 2016 , the general committee on legislation started to debate it again. The members were asked to adopt the law in a plenary session before the summer recess starting in few days. Again, the law sparked controversy . Several Tunisian and International organizations of the civil society expressed their opposition to the adoption of the law. Anti-corruption activists took to the streets in the capital as well as in several Tunisian cities and villages.
A youth campaign " Manich Masmah " ( I do not pardon) organized several demonstrations including a big one in the capital
It also called for a larger national demonstration on July 25th, 2016.
Personally, I think that every person that respects the Tunisian revolution and believes in its goals should oppose this economic reconciliation law. To begin with I am opposing this economic reconciliation law out of respect for the Tunisian revolution, its martyrs, its wounded who did not get the appropriate health care yet, and everyone who made sacrifices for it. It is true that the project of law is talking about reconciliation but it is rather an amnesty to the corrupt people who are behind the worsening of the situation in Tunisia and the rise of the authoritarian regime. It is an attack on the gains of the revolution. When it proposed this law the government in place pretended that the aim is the fulfillment of economic prosperity. But can we fulfill economic prosperity by allowing the corrupt people that led us to an awful economic situation to enjoy impunity and escape accountability? Can we fulfill economic prosperity by not respecting laws?
This reconciliation law is in contradiction with the new Tunisian Constitution that was applauded by the entire world after its enactment. It is in contradiction with the Transitional Justice Law enacted in 2013. It is in contradiction with the International treaties and conventions about the Transitional Justice Processes. It is in contradiction with the promises of the Government who had committed to fight corruption and impunity.
Tunisians deserve to know the truth. They deserve to enjoy their right to accountability as to corruption and human rights violations. The transitional justice process should include different steps: truth, justice reparations, and accountability. We cannot talk about reconciliation while ignoring these different stages. Moreover granting corrupt people amnesty would encourage them to keep on being corrupt and would not help Tunisian economy.
What about the rights of the victims? What about reparations?
Why did Tunisians revolt in 2011 ?
This is why I will keep on fighting against the adoption of the economic reconciliation law and this is why I am urging very free Tunisian citizen to oppose it .
You can see more photos here :
Manich Msamaeh Nabeul.