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Yearbook 2006

Tunisia. In March, Tunisia celebrated 50 years of independence from France. At the end of February, according to CountryAAH, 1,600 prisoners were released, including 81 political prisoners.

2006 Tunisia

In November, after serving 19 years in power, President Zayn al-Abidin Ben Ali pardoned 55 Islamist prisoners, including two leaders of the banned Islamist movement al-Nahda. Habib Ellouz and Mohammed Akrout had been sentenced to life imprisonment in 1992 following criticized trials. The releases were surrounded by harsh conditions and they risked being imprisoned again without any right to a new trial.

In October, the authorities sharpened the application of a law from 1981 that prohibits women from wearing headscarves in schools and government agencies.

Tunisia's relations with Qatar became very frosty in October. Tunisia closed its embassy in Doha in protest of Qatar-based TV channel al-Jazira broadcasting two interviews with opposition leader Moncef Marzouki, who returned after five years of exile in France. Marzouki, leader of the banned party CPR (Congrès pour la Republique), had called for civil disobedience against President Ben Ali.

In addition to the treatment of prisoners and opposites, continued criticism was also directed at restrictions on freedom of the press and opinion. However, that did not prevent Tunisia from being elected to the UN's new Human Rights Council in May.

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Tunisia in November during a tour of North Africa. In January 2007, Germany takes over the EU Presidency.

In February, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited and discussed cooperation in security matters.

Tunisia - Tunis


Tunis, capital of Tunisia; 747,200 residents (2014). Tunis, located near the Mediterranean at the northern end of the country, is a political, economic and cultural center with a university (founded in 1960) and a diverse industry. It is also a tourist resort with health spa and archaeological sites. International airport is available.

Tunis (Greek Tyʹnēs ) was originally a Libyan city that came under Carthage and was destroyed at the same time as 146 BC. The city was rebuilt as Thuni (later Tunes ) by the Romans, but its heyday began with the Aghlabids in the 8th century. During the 13th century, Tunis became a major center in the realm of the sea.

During the 16th century, the city was occasionally controlled by the Spaniards before it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1574. Tunis came to France in 1881 and was occupied by the Germans in 1942-43.


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