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Death of Trabelsi Renews Calls for Reconciliation with Former Tunisia Regime Members

Death of Trabelsi Renews Calls for Reconciliation with Former Tunisia Regime Members

Friday, 10 April, 2020 - 10:00
Members of the honor guard stand at attention during a flag raising in place of Kasba in Tunis, Tunisia, June 26, 2018. (Reuters)
Tunis - Mongi Saidani

The death of Mourad Trabelsi, the son-in-law of former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, renewed old calls for a comprehensive reconciliation with previous regime stalwarts.

Calls to overlook the tragedies of the past, however, soon dissipated under the rejection and pressure of those who were subjected to grave violations during the period of Ben Ali's rule, which spanned 23 years.

Sufyan Mazghish, spokesman for the General Administration of Prisons at the Ministry of Justice, confirmed that Trabelsi, who was imprisoned as of June 2012, died of a severe heart attack.

General prosecution, according to Mazghish, has allowed opening an investigation into Trabelsi’s death.

During his stay in prison, Trabelsi received regular medical care, especially since he was suffering from several chronic illnesses, in addition to having underwent surgery in 2007.

Public Prosecution had charged Trabelsi with corruption, just like the rest of Ben Ali's family and in-laws.

In 2012, Trabelsi received a 20-year jail sentence.

Rached Ghannouchi, head of the country’s Ennahda movement, had called for comprehensive national reconciliation last March. His call was directed at the leftist movement. Nevertheless, Ghannouchi’s call found no political support.

In 2017, the late president Beji Caid Essebsi also attempted comprehensive national reconciliation.

The Truth and Dignity Commission has been trying to enforce national reconciliation in Tunisia as well.

Established following the Tunisian Revolution, the Commission’s purpose is to investigate gross human rights violations committed by the Tunisian State since 1955 and to provide compensation and rehabilitation to victims.

The Commission, which was designed to use judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, began gathering testimonies from victims of abuse under the old regime in September 2015.

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