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Tunisia: CFJ concerned about attempts to amend NGO law

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The Committee for Justice (CFJ) is concerned about attempts by the political authority in Tunisia to control and restrict civil work within the country by seeking to revise Decree 88 of 2011, which regulates the work of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the country.

There is a proposal for an alternative draft law, facing widespread opposition from NGOs and associations who consider Decree 88 a significant gain of the Tunisian revolution. The decree provides comprehensive mechanisms to monitor funding, activity, work, and the achievement of organizational goals, ensuring effective association management.


Decree No. 88, issued in 2011, guarantees the freedom to establish, join, and operate within associations. It aims to strengthen and develop the role of civil society organizations while preserving their independence. In contrast, the proposed draft law by MPs introduces restrictive measures during the establishment stage, stifling associations in terms of management and financing. It also shows leniency in dissolving them, part of broader attempts by the political and legislative authority to isolate intermediary bodies within Tunisian society.


The CFJ emphasizes that the current climate in Tunisia is marked by uncertainty, lack of clear vision, and explicit threats to the gains of the revolution. The current regime, rather than addressing problems, is accused of deepening them, leading to an authoritarian shift and human rights violations. The fragility of achievements and the inability to solve accumulated problems compound the situation.


Therefore, the CFJ reaffirms its commitment to Decree 88 of 2011 as a legal framework ensuring freedom, commitment, and independence for NGOs. This framework positions civil society organizations as essential partners and monitors of the state’s activities, contributing to the protection of human rights for the Tunisian people.


The CFJ strongly opposes any attempts to change or revise Decree 88, viewing such actions as constraints on the freedom of organizations and associations. It perceives these attempts as an effort by the current regime to circumvent the gains of the Tunisian revolution. The CFJ calls on Tunisian authorities to respect the independence and freedom of action of civil society as a vital actor in the country.


Finally, the CFJ urges an end to ongoing stalking and targeting campaigns against human rights defenders, NGOs, and associations, emphasizing the detrimental effects on civil society. It

advocates for the creation of a safe and conducive environment for the expansion of civil work instead of its stifling and restriction.

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