By Amnesty International’s research team on Tunisia
Horns honked, children waved Tunisian flags, old men posed merrily for cameras and queues of voters spilled into school yards yesterday as Tunisians went to the polls in the first elections under the country’s new constitution, nearly four years after they took to the streets to protest against years of repression and abuse. Their enthusiasm was palpable, yet the success of the electoral process so far should not mask darker realities that persist in Tunisia.
Since the 2010-2011 uprising that ousted the former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, human rights violations have endured.
This has been evident since we arrived in Tunis, where we watched families protesting against the torture of their loved ones at the hands of the security forces and calling for justice and accountability. Their stories backed up the reports we had been receiving for several weeks of cases of torture and deaths in custody.
Little is still known about the structure of the Tunisian security forces, which have not been reformed since the uprising.