Tunisians protest delay in judiciary revamp plans
4/27/2012 7:30:01 PM -
TUNIS (AFP) - Scores of Tunisian magistrates protested on Friday before the constituent assembly to denounce a backlog of reforms that promised judges their independence.
Holding banners proclaiming "The revolution cannot be fully achieved without an independent judiciary", and "No to government tutelage of the judiciary", the protestors gathered at the assembly at Bardo, near Tunis.
The sit-in was called by the Association of Tunisian Magistrates (AMT) to protest against the delay in implementing a proposal freeing judges from the justice ministry's control.
AMT chief Khalthoum Kanou also denounced "the deterioration of work conditions in the courts and the decline of material and social conditions for magistrates".
The AMT had been critical of the government in the twilight years of longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's rule. He was toppled last year in the first of a series of Arab Spring revolutions.
Several AMT members, including Kanou, had been subjected to pressure, sanctions and disciplinary action during Ben Ali's rule.
The national constituent assembly is charged with devising a new constitution and has been provisionally given a year's time to develop the text.