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Tunisia: Former council member of Order of Lawyers Abdelaziz Essid faces investigation for professional activities

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Press release

Geneva – March 26, 2024


The legal community in Tunisia is bracing for a significant development as Abdelaziz Essid, a prominent lawyer, human rights advocate, and former member of the National Bar Association’s board, has been referred for investigation. The announcement was made by Hatem El Mazyo, the President of the National Bar Association, who disclosed that Essid will appear before the eighth criminal circuit of the Court of First Instance in Tunis on Wednesday, March 27, 2024.

El Mazyo underscored the gravity of the situation, emphasizing that Essid’s referral to court pertains directly to his professional activities, which are deemed integral to the duties of a lawyer. He urged fellow legal practitioners to rally in

support of Essid during the forthcoming hearing, portraying it as a collective defense of their colleague’s rights.

This development follows Essid’s previous involvement in the defense committee’s press conference for detainees implicated in the “conspiracy” case in April 2023, which resulted in his earlier referral for investigation.

In response to Essid’s predicament, the Committee for Justice (CFJ) has issued a stern condemnation, characterizing the investigation as an unjust targeting of Essid for his professional endeavors as a lawyer and human rights advocate. The CFJ has demanded an immediate cessation of arbitrary proceedings against Essid, denouncing what they perceive as deliberate persecution.

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