UN Human Rights Experts deplore use of force against protesters in Tunisia

A group of independent UN human rights experts are urging the Tunisian Government to control the use of force against peaceful demonstrators. 21 deaths have been officially confirmed following days of protests against price increases, unemployment and corruption. Patrick Maigua reports from Geneva

Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights

Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights

According to the experts, credible human rights organizations have reported a much higher number of killings since the beginning of the protests in Tunisia in mid-December.

UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Christof Heyns, warned that the killing of innocent civilians is a violation of international law and is unacceptable in any society.

El Hadji Malick Sow, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, called for “an immediate cessation of all arbitrary arrests” and urged the Government “to follow through with its commitment to release all the people arrested for peacefully taking part in the demonstrations.”

The group of experts expressed particular concern that “journalists, bloggers, political activists and human rights defenders denouncing human rights violations in the Tunisia and advocating, for freedom of expression have been the subject of widespread arrest, intimidation and torture.”

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has called for transparent and credible investigations into the deaths.

Patrick Maigua at the United Nations.

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