Derechos Human RightsReport

ACIJLP calls for the immediate release of Lawyer Naguib Husny

16 Jan 2001

ACIJLP calls for the immediate release of Lawyer Naguib Husny, and
asserts that the involvement of the judiciary in getting rid of
political opponents threats justice in Tunisia

The Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal
Profession (ACIJLP) is extremely concerned for the imprisonment of
Tunisian lawyer Naguib Husny, honorary lawyer of the Arab Commission of
Human Rights, early January of this year. The Tunisian authorities
ordered his imprisonment for five years for reasons related to
practicing his profession.  This sentence is a grave violation of the UN
Basic Principles of the Role of Lawyers adopted by the UN General
Assembly in 1990.

Naguib Husny is a human rights defender, and is a founder and leading
member of the National Council for Freedoms in Tunisia (founded on 10
December 1998), and a former judge whom the Tunisian authorities exerted
a lot of pressures to discharge because of his advocacy of human rights.

The Tunisian authorities first detained Naguib Husny for 15 days, and
then ordered his imprisonment for 5 years under the claim that he has to
complete an eight years prison sentence issued against him in 1996,
after he had been detained for two years without trial. By late 1996,
Husny was conditionally released following efforts by an international
solidarity committee which defended him.

In an evidence that Husny's imprisonment is related to the performance
of his profession, it must be noted that just two days before the
imprisonment order, he had assumed the defense of Dr. Munsif

ACIJLP is extremely worried about the human rights situation in Tunisia,
and the violation of the independence of the legal profession.  It
stresses that it is a threat to justice in Tunisia to involve the
judiciary in cases which aim to get rid of political opponents, and in
trials which lack the minimum guarantees for a fair trial stated in
international human rights standards in general, and in article 14 of
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in particular.

The center calls upon the Tunisian authorities to promptly and
unconditionally release lawyer Naguib Husny. It appeals to all civil
society institutions and international jurist bodies, particularly the
special rapportuer on the judiciary, to urge the Tunisian authorities to
stop the deterioration of the situation of justice in Tunisia, which
affects both lawyers and judges.  The center also appeals to the
Tunisian authorities not to involve the judiciary in political
conflicts, and to ensure the minimum international standards on the
independence of the judiciary.

Human Rights in

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