Tunisia – Tunisian judges hold ‘day of anger’ against President dismissals of judges
Location: Tunis – Tunisia
Source: A24 Tunisia
Restrictions: A24 subscribers
Tunisian judges staged Thursday a protest under the title ‘Judges day of anger’ as part of a series of protests going on for nearly three weeks, denouncing the decision of President Kais Saied, to dismiss 57 judges without referring to the Supreme Judicial Council.
Several judges announced a hunger strike in protest against their dismissal, and President’s decisions against the judicial institute.
The Judges Association noted that the strike comes in demand of judicial dignity and independence.
Judges demand the separation of powers, and for executive authority to refrain from interfering with
– Soundbite (Wael Hanafi – President of Union of Magistrates of the Court of Auditors):
“We have suspended work in judicial, administrative and financial courts for the third week in a row, as a result of revision of the decree related to the Interim Supreme Judicial Council. The President assigned authority to himself to dismiss judges without referring to any disciplinary committee. If judges want to appeal, they can file a grievance with the Administrative Court after criminal procedures are completed. It has been 3 weeks since the judges were dismissed, and they still do not know what they are accused of.”
– Soundbite (Rawda Al-Qarafi – Honorary President of the Judges Association):
“Many of the judges involved in the dismissal decision lived through tyranny and fought for judicial independence in Tunisia. They are some of the most honest judges in the country, who have decided to stage a hunger strike in protest for freedom and judicial independence. The dignity of these judges was arbitrarily trampled on with no proper cause or explanation. We will continue to fight for freedom, judicial independence, separation of powers and democracy.”
Soundbite (Mahdi Al-Rahmani – Counsellor at the Court of Cassation and one of the judges on a hunger strike):
“The President dismissed 57 judges through Decree 35, and is intent on abolishing judicial authority. We were fighting to increase judicial independence, but today we fight to keep the judicial institute. Currently, 3000 judges are at risk of being dismissed. The President has all government bodies and authorities at his disposal, and can order the dismissal of any judge in any moment. In response to that, we staged a hunger strike to protest against the heinous assault the President committed against the judicial institute. We will use any method to fight against him.”