Abuse victims confront Tunisia’s demons of the past


TUNIS: Victims of rape and torture under successive dictatorships started testifying on live television Thursday as Tunisia — in a rare move for the Arab world — tries to deal with decades of abuse. The Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD) has tracked human rights violations committed between July 1955, a year before Tunisia gained its independence from France, and December 2013 when the fact-finding body was established. Several men and women who survived abuses under successive authoritarian regimes are appearing on national television on Thursday and Friday evenings to tell their stories before the commission. The testimonies started with Ourida Kadoussi, the mother of a protester shot by security forces in January 2011 during the uprising that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. “They killed our children. We have not been given our rights,” she said at the Club Elyssa, one of several properties confiscated from Ben Ali’s entourage after his removal.


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