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International conference on “Transitional Justice: Addressing the Past, Building the Future”

Published the:  14/04/2011

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April 14, 2011 - TAP - Works of an international conference on "Transitional Justice: Addressing the Past, Building the Future" began on Thursday morning, in Tunis.
The three-day event looked into several issues: how to investigate and prosecute crime perpetrators and infringements related to dictatorship and how to repair material and moral damage suffered by the victims, while honoring state's commitments to international law and world treaties pertaining to Human Rights?
At the opening works of the conference, Education Minister Taieb Baccouche said that Interim Government should take a political decision to ensure establishment of transitional justice, in accordance with the Tunisian society's peculiarities.
To establish transitional justice, he underlined, the political will should be combined with "civil society's will".
The conference is attended by the Presidents of the Arab Human Rights Institute, the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the Tunisian Human Rights League, as well as representatives of the United Nations High Commissariat for Human Rights, who asserted that Human Rights are a common denominator between experiences of Morocco, South Africa, Romania and Latin America in matters of transitional justice.
Participants placed emphasis on the importance of exchanging ideas and experiences in transitional justice to help the concerned countries prepare a new stage which breaks off for good with dictatorship and oppression.
Mr. Abdelbasset Ben Hassan, President of the Arab Human Rights Institute, stressed that political transition remains insufficient if it does not deal with Human Rights as a basis and a key instrument for "breaking off with revenge and exclusion."
The Institute is to start implementation of a program, in association with the education ministry, aimed to disseminate the culture of human rights in educational institutions.
President of the International Centre for Transitional Justice David Tolbet commended the Tunisian "historic" Revolution whose success will be taken as an example in the whole Arab region.
For Joseph Chakla, representative of the United Nations High Commissariat for Human Rights, transitional justice in Tunisia should be the product of "the local genius," underlining that this historic transition links political will and civil society's.
In turn, Mr. Pablo De Greiff, Director of Research at the International Centre for Transitional Justice, explained that the previous experiences mainly centered on the creation of investigation commissions on extortion, elaboration of compensation program for the victims and carrying out important reforms in the security mechanisms.
African, American, Asian and Arab experts are taking part in this conference which focuses, in particular, on examining issues of transitional justice after dictatorship, judicial instruction, judgments, as well as reform of the security sector.