fredag 28 januari 2011

Debatt om Tunisien

När den extra debatten i Europarådets Parlamentariska Församling/Parliamentary Assembly i Strasbourg tog plats deltog jag med ett inlägg.

Vi hade snabbt fått fram, "report Dok 12494 (daterad 25 jan 2011) The situation in Tunisia" med anledning av utvecklingen i landet. Jag och hela S-gruppen i Strasbourg står bakom rapporten som också finns på hemsidan.

Men jag saknade fokus på kvinnor som aktörer såväl som belysning av deras situation även om den generella politiken ska gälla för såväl män som kvinnor.

Flickor och kvinnor glöms som ni vet lätt bort, Utrikesminister Carl Bildt M är ett för oss väl bekant exempel på denna upprepade glömska Så det var kvinnorna jag valde att ta upp. Mitt inlägg som följer nedan är kort då talartiden var yttert begränsad.

Debate on the situation in Tunisia – Thursday 27 January

Situation of women in Tunisia:

The recent events in Tunisia give me an opportunity of casting a light on the situation of women in this country.

Even if on paper the legal framework has seen a number of major achievements, violence against women remains a serious problem in Tunisia.

Hundreds of cases of violence against women and domestic violence are reported: this is certainly just the tip of the iceberg. Prevailing culture makes it extremely difficult for women to report violence and a lot of cases remain unreported.

It is difficult for the victims to bringing the cases before the Court and obtaining legal remedy. Both the police and the judiciary often fail to apply the existing legislation.

Non application or discriminatory application of the law before the courts is widespread and cases or sexual violence are inadequately investigated.

Reports from FIDH (Fédération International des Droits de l’Homme) confirm this situation.

Repression of women activists

As underlined by our Assembly in Resolution 1660 (2009) on the Situation of human rights defenders in Council of Europe member states, women human rights defenders face distinct risks and distinct obstacles with regard to effectively carrying out their human rights work.

In Tunisia, women taking part in human rights or women’s rights activities and independent organisations are systematically targeted by the Tunisian authorities. They are subjected to

Physical aggressions
Judicial harassment of the organisations they work in
Defamation campaigns
Cutting of communication means (telephone lines, internet sites)
Violation of secrecy, spying telephone conversations

These aggressions target women because of their participation in a generalist independent human rights organisation, or in women’s rights organisations. Theyalso target women lawyers or journalists in their activities.

Evolution of the situation

We need to careful monitor how the situation evolves. It is a pity that no parliamentarian delegation from Tunisia could attend this session, because we could have had from them first hand information on how the situation is evolving in their country.

Human rights are “inherently weak”: not only in Tunisia, but everywhere, progress in this field can never be taken for granted.

This is particularly true of women’s rights in Tunisia. Ben Ali presented the well-developed legal framework on women’s rights as an achievement. In reality is was a smokescreen to hide the poor respect of human rights in general. In addition, Tunisia has been backtracking on women rights for years.

I am convinced that we have to be particularly vigilant on the situation of women’s rights, particularly on the freedom of women’s rights defenders, in the months and years to come. In this difficult phase of democratic transition, women’s rights must not be neglected.