Contesting Transitional Justice as Liberal Governance in Revolutionary Tunisia

in Conflict and Society

ABSTRACT

This article discusses the politics of “transition” in Tunisia and locates Tunisia’s post-uprising justice initiatives within existing critical literature on global liberal governance and transitional justice. Methodologically, it treats transitional justice as a site of contestation, involving the exercise of domestic and transnational strategies of power as well as the often subversive agency of former and ongoing victims of state crime. By examining noninstitutionalized forms of contestation, this article seeks to understand and contextualize the fears expressed by some victims that the formal transitional justice process may be a diversion from, rather than bridge to, revolutionary aims.

To me, this is cinema. … Some players and officials want to reduce our transitional justice misfortunes and sufferings to mere historical anecdotes that we have to forget before any accountability and compensation. … Most associations, especially those operating abroad, who claimed to defend our rights have been enriched at the expense of our torments. Today, these false human rights activists simply want to turn a dark page in our history to serve their own interests.

—Ben Othman Hamrouni Saber, former political prisoner, speaking at an artistic commemoration of torture committed during the former regime held in November 2012 at the Ministry of Human Rights and Transitional Justice (Abdellaoui 2012).

Five years after Tunisia’s uprising in the name of “shughul, huriyya, wa karaama wataniyya” (work, freedom, and national dignity) popular mobilization continues around unfulfilled revolutionary demands. At the same time, there have been concerted efforts both domestically and internationally to promote Tunisia as the latest showpiece of the global transitional justice regime.

Tunisia has been and continues to be lauded for its transitional justice process, in particular the establishment of a constitutionally bound legal and institutional framework for pursuing “truth” and “justice” for past instances of state crime. Hundreds of workshops, conferences, training sessions, and seminars have taken place around the themes of transitional justice, and an even greater number of publications, pamphlets, and communiqués have been produced on the subject. Countless civil society organizations, former victims, politicians, officials, police officers, teachers, and other “stakeholders” have been “trained” in the tools of transitional justice by specialized international agencies.

Yet, despite publicized efforts on the part of domestic and international actors, many Tunisians remain unsatisfied with the pace and substance of the formal transitional justice process. The opinions expressed in the epigraph of this article suggest some of the tensions increasingly found within Tunisia’s transitional justice process, and reflect widespread feelings of dismay among a great number of Tunisians, many of whom refuse to be interpellated as compliant victims (Madlingozi 2010). The analysis that follows below critically examines these tensions insofar as they provide insight into the substance and forms of Tunisia’s globally sponsored transitional justice process. In particular, it considers the extent to which transitional justice functions to challenge or reproduce dominant expressions of state and transnational power, focusing on three levels of analysis: the transnational level, in particular in the context of global (neo)liberal governance; the state level, in which a globally sponsored domestic institutional process unfolds; and the societal level, where various struggles and diffuse instances of power and resistance are often located.

This article is mindful of debates around agency and resistance in relevant scholarship. One prominent thread within these debates includes Foucauldian articulations of the “paradox of subjectivation” in which agency is located in “the very processes and conditions that secure a subject’s subordination” (Mahmood 2004: 17). According to this perspective, resistance is delimited by “the discursive parameters that power makes possible” (Varadharajan 1995: 12). In this vein, Saba Mahmood (2004: 24) has cautioned, with respect to the dominant understanding of agency, that agency is not simply that which is exercised in the “consolid[ation] and/or subver[sion]” of norms, but also entails the “perform[ance], inhabit[ation], and experienc[e] [of norms] in a variety of ways.” Citing Pierre Bourdieu, Mahmood (2004: 18) provides a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between power and resistance, in which agency is understood “not simply as a synonym (equal) for resistance to relations of domination, but as a capacity for action that specific relations of subordination create and enable (make possible).”

As such, this article conceives of resistance both as a “self-consciously agentive” (Allen 2013: 158) alternative to hegemonic formulations of transitional justice and as collective, everyday expressions of “getting by” (Allen 2008) in the context of ongoing struggles around socioeconomic and political justice. It conceptualizes agency not through an opposition between state and society, but, rather, understands and treats agency in terms of Salwa Ismail’s (2006) discussion of “society in the state,” Joel Migdal’s (1988) theory of the “state in society”, and Timothy Mitchell’s (1990) description of the state–society divide as an “effect” of power. Such state–society interactions are viewed in terms of the various transnational and global entanglements they inevitably entail.

We begin with a critical reflection on the origins and function of transitional justice, arguing that it should be seen as a site of diverse instances of power, politics, and resistance, often in the interstices of state institutions. Engaging critical literature on global and national iterations of transitional justice, we consider the possibility that transitional justice – far from acknowledging revolutionary mobilization and it stated aims – instead serves to stall, disable or transform it altogether (Meister 2010). The article moves on to introduce the Tunisian example, providing a short overview of the history of repression in Tunisia before outlining the architecture of Tunisia’s globally sponsored transitional justice process. By paying attention to the often contentious society-level engagement, this article examines “everyday” and organized challenges both to the specific procedures and overall design of Tunisia’s globally sponsored transitional justice process. In doing so, this article aims to provide a nuanced discussion of power and resistance in the context of Tunisia’s transitional justice process.

Contesting Transitional Justice

Transitional Justice as a Site of Global Liberal Governance

Rather than viewing the various discourses, institutions, and mechanisms associated with transitional justice as “technical” in nature, critical approaches instead interrogate the politics and political economy of transitional justice (An-Na’im 2013; Meister 2010; Mutua 2012). Critiques of transitional justice are often concerned with the relations of power that are naturalized by transitional justice repertoires and the diffuse effects of transitional justice as a normative force. These approaches question the vested transnational and domestic interests vying to frame “justice” in particular ways toward various political end-goals. These transnational and domestic interests are diffuse and circulatory, expressed through interconnected “networks” that often make them difficult to locate (Nielson 2011: 29). In a globalized context, these networks exceed the boundaries of states and are influenced by a multitude of actors belonging to what Al-Bulushi (2014) describes as the “transnational elite.” These include multilateral institutions, international organizations, bilateral donors, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) (Hazan 2006; Rubli 2012; Subotić 2012).

The rise of transitional justice as a dominant paradigm occurred in the context of post–Cold War triumphalism. Building on “an unparalleled moment of liberal expansionism,” post–Cold War interventions into post-conflict environments drew on the constructs of “democratization,” “development,” “security,” and human rights “promotion” to reinforce unequal sovereignties in an international system (Duffield and Evans 2011: 96). Economically, these interventions followed the Washington Consensus, which declared there could be “no alternatives” to neoliberal paradigms of political and economic development. Easily disguised as a form of “technical assistance,” transitional justice came to function as an important tool of global liberal governance. Belonging to an ensemble of techniques that accumulate, examine, and deploy detailed knowledge of post-conflict populations in order to better manage them, and ostensibly to improve their “life chances,” the globalized transitional justice process often contributes to (neo)imperial processes of accumulation and dispossession (An-Na’im 2013; Chandler 2010; Dillon and Reid 2001; Duffield 2007; Harvey 2003; Mullin and Patel 2014).

Historically contingent developments in Western Asia also lay the ground for the eventual ascendancy of transitional justice in the context of the “Arab Spring.” In Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine (2007), Laleh Khalili documents a shift from narratives of “revolutionary armed struggle” that had been central to postcolonial Arab political discourses and subjectivities to subsequent narratives and discourses that privileged the “tragedy of abject victims in need of transnational sympathy and support” (Khalili 2007: 40). Khalili attributes this shift to a post–Cold War “ascension of the liberal discourse of rights and development,” stewarded by NGOs in collaboration with their “donors and cohorts in the North” (Khalili 2007: 45). This discursive shift may have contributed in part to the framing of the “Arab Spring” uprisings not as radical socioeconomic and political transformations, but rather as the latest episode in a teleology of liberal expansion. In this sense, it is not surprising, as Mahmood Mamdani (2011: 559) has argued, that many Western observers of the West Asian and North African uprisings saw it “through a lens of ‘color’ revolutions following the decline of the Soviet Union.”

Transitional Justice as a Site of Neoliberal State Power and Societal Resistance

The first principle of transitional justice is “to maintain some degree of order” at the level of the state (Leebaw 2008). One of the axioms of transitional justice is that revolutionary enthusiasm can be converted into the promotion and adherence of rule of law (Teitel 2003: 7). In this sense, the advent of transitional justice is intended to herald the end of mass mobilization and the inception of the “stability” necessary for the economic and political liberalization that will ostensibly follow. Within a new order based around (neo)liberal governance, agency is no longer deemed to belong to those actors who contributed to resisting the former dispensation, but is now transferred to less emotive, “expert” third parties. The latter will convert revolt to “transition” and steward the fledgling polity toward representative institutions and rational bureaucratic processes productive of a stable order.

In order to achieve a program of governance based on globalized norms, transitional justice orchestrates “justice” in certain substantive ways, each primed to condition and regulate the nascent polity. As such, transitional justice often refers less to discrete legal mechanisms than to a broader institutional project of neoliberal “norm diffusion” (Mutua 2012: 36–37). Robert Meister points out the ways in which transitional justice has been used to neutralize revolution in the first instance and to suspend justice claims within a “time after evil has been brought to a close that is still a time before justice” (Meister 2010: 84). Crucially for our purposes, Meister refers to transitional justice as an “alternative” to revolution. Transition, in this reading, is an elongation of the time before justice happens, where revolution insists the time has already arrived (Meister 2010: 84).

Rather than marking a systemic transformation that would enable a redistribution of power and wealth, globalized transitional justice obscures continuities in structural inequality while sanctioning a largely symbolic reckoning with the past. Despite particular configurations, globally sponsored transitional justice processes often have the effect of imposing censure, discipline, and consent on target populations. The “objective” rational bureaucratic procedures of globalized transitional justice delegitimize, obscure and replace existing political grievances. By confining political participation and access to the “truth” to certain identified actors within “civil society,” transitional justice processes often create new exclusions and consolidate new arrangements of elite power. As such, various scholars have examined transitional justice as a global and state-sanctioned normative force designed to regulate and discipline societies on behalf of capital and elite political configurations (An-Na’im 2013; Madlingozi 2010; Mutua 2012; Patel 2012). These scholars argue that among the effects of transitional justice is a “discursive violence” that seeks to regulate and conscript individuals as passive “victims,” thereby seeking to deny, in Gilles Deleuze’s (1995) words, a “singular revolutionary becoming.”

As Meister (2010) contends, revolutionary actors in such circumstances are left “in a state of indefinite, perhaps permanent transition,” in which “former victims do not become the new beneficiaries” of political transformation. The transitional state “may stop doing bad things to the former victims, but it still exists largely for the sake of ongoing beneficiaries of the new order: there is no paradigm shift in the way who/whom questions are stated” (Meister 2010: 85). Those who are not prepared to adjust their activism to fit the liberal structures effecting transition are open to being branded as “hardliners” or “spoilers.”

Yet resistance to such expressions of power can and does exist. Roger MacGinty and Oliver Richmond (2013), for example, recognize the possibility of resistance to transitional justice in their discussion of the “social capital” inherent in local networks. Concerned to articulate subaltern forms of resistance, they stress the importance of paying attention to local institutions and movements rooted in “everyday life,” since such institutions and movements express “cultural, political and economic practices” that often command more authority than the state (MacGinty and Richmond 2013: 770). In the same vein, the second half of this article examines localized, noninstitutionalized resistance as a form of politics that seeks (if not always successfully) to act outside the formal mechanisms of state power, and, in doing so, aims to “deepen the struggle and transform the social system” (Petras 1999: 433). This article also examines the often blurred boundaries between state and society in terms of the strategies and material effects of domestic and global power and their paradoxical ability to enable new forms of subjectivity and truth-telling to emerge.

State-Building and State Violence: A Prelude to Transitional Justice

Before assessing Tunisia’s transitional justice processes, it is important first to consider in greater detail the history of Tunisian state violence in the years preceding the 2011 uprising. Post-independence Tunisia experienced two forms of centralized power and often repressive governance: that of Habib Bourguiba (1957–1987) and the more overtly repressive rule of Ben Ali (1987–2011). Both relied on a constructed state identity that featured a pro-West foreign policy, “liberal” economic orientation, and strong state control over religious institutions and public piety in the name of secularism and “modernity.” With respect to Tunisian post-independence state-building, Larbi Sadiki (2002: 502) has written that “colonial hegemony was substituted with an indigenous hegemony.” Central to this process was “banning rival centers of power” (Sadiki 2002: 502). Having eliminated his Islamic-Arab-oriented nationalist political counterpart, Saleh Ben Youssef (assassinated in 1964), Bourguiba went on to initiate a sustained campaign in the 1960s and 1970s to neutralize other forms of oppositional resistance, particularly trade unions and leftist activism.

In 1981, Bourguiba also began an assault against an emergent Islamist movement known as the Islamic Tendency Movement, as well as its offshoot, Ennahda, denying them both legal recognition and arresting their members and leadership. Though portrayed as a violent threat during the Ben Ali years, Ennahda is generally perceived as a “post-Islamist” movement. In that sense, it is more concerned with achieving liberal political rights and access to the economy—“nutur[ing] pious Muslims within a democratic polity” (Bayat 2011)—than with the radical politics often associated with the establishment of an “Islamic state.” Nevertheless, by 1992, as a result of Ben Ali’s repression, virtually the entirety of Ennahda’s leadership was imprisoned or in exile, its organizational capabilities within the country having been fully suppressed (Noyon 2003: 103).

Ben Ali’s rule featured various socioeconomic and political pathologies associated with neoliberal authoritarianism, including state violence on the pretext of protecting “national security”, impunity for security apparatuses, a corrupt judiciary, enormous wealth disparities, high unemployment (in particular among young people), and a suffocated public and political sphere in which political dissent was not tolerated. “Networks of privilege” (Heydemann 2004) with direct access to policymaking enabled a transnationally connected domestic elite to benefit from the neoliberal economic policies advocated by international financial institutions. These policies had the effect of transferring wealth from the state to individuals with connections to the state.

The instruments of repression during the Ben Ali regime were principally the Interior Ministry, the police and various intelligence and security apparatuses, and the judiciary. Statistics from 2004 of imprisonment rates in West Asia and North Africa reveal that Tunisia’s imprisonment rate was second only to those of the settler-colonial state of Israel (Walmsley 2013). Though Islamists (or alleged Islamists) were its primary target, Tunisia’s system of incarceration as a means of social control and regulation spanned the political spectrum, ensnaring many individuals from other politically and economically marginalized communities in its web (Hibou 2011).

The Ben Ali regime effectively criminalized independent forms of Islamic devotional practice, public piety, and political opinion in toto, resulting in the arrest, detention, and torture of thousands of people by security forces and police based on fabricated charges. The notion that “Islamism” was a threat to both Tunisian national security and its secular identity was in accord with dominant discourses and prerogatives of the global “war on terror.” Despite knowledge of Ben Ali’s repressive modes of governance, the United States and European Union often provided him with material and diplomatic support throughout his years in power, and were quick to recruit Tunisia as a “partner” in the “war on terror” after 9/11. The increased economic, diplomatic, and military support from various western actors, including the United States and European Union, allowed Ben Ali to bolster security apparatuses designed to suppress internal dissent.

Though there have yet to be any official statistics released regarding the exact numbers of Ennahda members who were targeted and persecuted during the Ben Ali years, they certainly number in the thousands, if not tens of thousands. Most of the charges against Ennahda activists alleged acts of insurrectionist violence and conspiracy to overthrow the government. Many analysts have noted, at the very least, the “exaggerated” nature of the allegations and subsequent response (Willis 2012: 175). The trials themselves were heavily criticized by human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, which concluded that many of those on trial were “sentenced solely on the basis of uncorroborated confessions allegedly extracted under torture and consistently denied in court” (Willis 2012: 176).

Ben Ali’s regime subjected not simply the political opposition but the country as a whole to routine forms of violence and repression. These included most obviously physical violence, more often than not carried out by the various security apparatuses linked to the Interior Ministry. However, this process also entailed structural and administrative violence, manifested in entrenched bureaucratic corruption and clientalism (Hibou 2011). The Ben Ali regime in particular oversaw the retrenchment of the state and disinvestment in public goods such as health care, education, and infrastructure, and concomitant investment in repressive security apparatuses. Since Tunisia’s wealth has historically been invested in the coastal areas and capital city of Tunis, state neglect severely impacted the country’s rural communities, as well as the center-west, southwest, and northern regions (Ayeb 2011; Mullin 2014). This was the political and socioeconomic context that gave rise to Tunisia’s uprising as well as its globally sponsored transitional justice process.

Tunisia’s Globally Sponsored Transitional Justice Process

Tunisia was received as a “classic” transitional justice scenario—a “complete” regime change ostensibly confirmed when the 2011 interim government adopted a structured “roadmap” for Tunisia’s “transition,” communicating plans to elect a Constituent Assembly that would be mandated to draft a constitution among other permanent settlements (Chatham House Meeting 2012; IFIT 2013). However, considerable pause should be given to this elevation of Tunisia’s transition as a “showcase” for the region, especially considering the various limitations discussed below. That Tunisia’s transitional justice process continues to be held up as an example may relate more to particular factors—such as Tunisia’s continued post-uprising acquiescence to aspects of global economic neoliberalism and its support for the global “war on terror”—than to the readiness of domestic institutions to enact transformative change at the national level.

The Arrival of Global Transitional Justice Actors

It is important to consider the role of global actors in Tunisia’s “transition.” and the substantial presence they command. Despite being the technicians of globalized liberal governance, transitional justice actors who work for international organizations such as the ones discussed below tend to consider themselves neutral arbiters (Chandler 2010; Dillon and Reid 2001; Duffield 2007; Mullin and Patel 2014; Patel 2012). Their claimed neutrality derives from their supposed “associate” role in delivering the formal architecture of transitional justice to governmental bodies and “civil society” organizations, thus safeguarding international justice compliance (Subotić 2013). In this way, such actors tend to obscure their important role in fashioning “justice” itself within the normative limits particular to global liberal governance (Mahmood 2007). The emergence of “expert” third parties in transitional contexts signifies a shift in agency away from domestic actors, who are deemed to be partisan and unskilled in international compliance by comparison to justice experts considered capable of stewarding a domestic polity towards transition.

The arrival of the global liberal governance actors en force in Tunisia may be traced back to a two-day “training” workshop that was held in March 2012, Tunis, coorganized by Freedom House and Liberty and Development Association (ALD). Emblematic of Tunisia’s emerging transitional justice project, this event, titled “For a Transitional Justice Process through the Voices of the Victims of Oppression and the Revolution,” sought to “help Tunisian civil society counterparts push forward a survivor-centered approach to … transitional justice” (Freedom House 2012). Following interventions by “experts and government representatives,” Tunisian human rights activists were trained in “techniques” of standardized transitional justice concepts, such as “recording and preserving the memory of survivors, dealing with trauma and healing, and establishing a legal framework for an independent transitional justice process” (Freedom House 2012). Despite their neural lexicon, these “techniques” are designed to promote (although often unsuccessfully) uniform subjectivities in keeping with global neoliberalism at the expense of victims’ own political and social capacities and experiences (An-Na’im 2013; Madlingozi 2010; Mutua 2012; Patel 2012).

Several other global liberal governance actors have entered the Tunisian transitional justice landscape in the post-uprising period, including the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). ICTJ sought out Howard Varney, a lawyer who was instrumental to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to provide “international expertise” on drafting Tunsia’s transitional justice legislation (Ghribi 2012).1 Organizations such as No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) have worked together with local initiatives toward more grassroots efforts. In 2011, NPWJ worked together with Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM) to conduct a nationwide survey regarding general perceptions of the transitional justice process. A key finding was that a majority of respondents classed as “victims” felt “unrepresented after the revolution and around half of them did not know which civil society groups they could turn to for the representation of their interests” (Ghribi 2012: 5). Though the efforts of NPWJ go some way to facilitating domestic civil society participation in the transitional justice process, the organization continues to work within the parameters of the wider matrix of transnational liberal governance, securing funds from a number of western governments and prominent international funding agencies.

The regulatory effect of global governance actors was suggested in 2013 by the former minister of planning and regional development, Jamel Eddine Gharbi: “We say, ‘look this is our problem.’ But then they point and say, ‘no, your problem, it is here.’ It’s as if you have a red folder, and they try to convince that ‘no, it’s blue’” (IFIT 2013: 26). The perspectives of domestic actors are at times subsumed by the priorities of their international counterparts. Correspondingly, local human rights organizations “outside the Tunis loop” have been in danger of being decentered by networks of international sponsorship (Ghribi 2012).

There are of course variations within the interventions of global transitional justice actors, often as a result of their interaction with local agency. Their “capacity building” exercises and limited financial support in most cases appear to be designed to set the normative and discursive parameters within which “justice” can be pursued in Tunisia’s post-uprising context.

Initiating the State-Led Transitional Justice Process

Though predating the official arrival of international transitional justice actors, the early stages of Tunisia’s state-led transitional justice process nevertheless appeared to conform to international norms and standards. On 18 January 2011 three investigative bodies—one on political reform, another on violence against protesters after 17 December 2010, and a third to investigate corruption—were created at the initiative of the interim government.

On 19 February, the transitional government adopted a general Amnesty Law for political prisoners, which allowed for the release of more than 1,800 remaining political prisoners, many of whom had been convicted or were facing charges under the country’s 2003 “Anti-Terror” law (ICG 2016). This Amnesty Law also stipulated financial compensation for former political prisoners and reinstatement into employment (Amnesty International 2011). Furthermore, several ad hoc reparations measures were enacted in 2011, providing victims and their families with various levels of financial compensation, access to medical services, subsidized public transportation, and public sector employment (Carranza 2015).

The National Constituent Assembly (NCA) eventually passed an “Organic Law on Establishing and Organizing Transitional Justice” on 15 December 2013. Article 8 of the Transitional Justice Law established specialized chambers within the appeals courts of certain Tunisian governorates. The law stated that judges appointed to these chambers would never have “participated in trials of a political nature” and would receive training in transitional justice. These specialized chambers “will have jurisdiction over widespread or systematic human rights violations, including deliberate killing, rape and sexual violence, torture, enforced disappearance, and execution without fair trial guarantees” (Human Rights Watch 2014). Article 10 delineated the criteria for establishing victimhood, and, after much debate, regions were added to the list of “victims” eligible for reparations. However, the effectiveness of this article is potentially limited by vague wording and use of the term “regions” rather than “governorates” in a country administratively governed by the latter.2

Following Article 17 of the legislation, a 15-member “Truth and Dignity Commission” (TDC) was launched in June 2014 (operative over a four-year term) to enact victim reparations and state recognition from human rights violations as far back as independence (1 July 1955). The commission includes a reparations fund (“The Fund for Dignity and Rehabilitation of Victims,” Article 41), among other documentary, investigative, and “truth-telling” functions. Like other transitional justice legislative mandates, it lays claim to a heady mixture of social, national, and political goods, including “material and moral compensation,” “rehabilitation,” “reconciliation,” “[perpetrator] apology,” nonrecurrence of the “system of corruption oppression and despotism,” “national unity,” “social justice,” “peace,” “recovery of rights,” “reintegration,” “national memory,” “democracy-building,” and “rule of law” (Constitutionnet 2013).

Several well-known activists with stellar records of independent opposition to Ben Ali-era rights violations and who had initially stood outside the formal transitional justice process were appointed to the commission, including Sihem Ben Sedrine (the commission’s president), Zohair Makhlouf and Ibtihel Abdellatif (vice presidents). The Truth and Dignity Commission carries enormous responsibilities that have recently aggregated. Following vocal protests at the military appeals court in Tunis, the National Constituent Assembly enacted a new law on 12 June 2014, explicitly stating that the Truth and Dignity Commission will address state violence committed during the uprising. Decree laws 69 and 97 in 2011 had established reparations for those injured during the protests and for the families of those who were killed. Though the government executive remains tasked with providing reparations, it is the role of the commission to fix the criteria for reparations.

Challenging Globalized Transitional Justice from the Margins

It is perhaps unsurprising, given the abrupt end to revolt and protest following the enactment of “transition” in early 2011, that mobilized citizens—not necessarily belonging to any political party, trade union, or registered NGO—have expressed dissatisfaction with various aspects of the formal transitional justice process. Though many Tunisians expected an expeditious realization of revolutionary demands, several of these demands have been neutralized by means of the revolution’s “parliamentization” and associated forms of bureaucratic inertia (Gerges 2014; Meister 2010). As Zohair Makhlouf put it in a 2012 interview, the formal transitional justice process often “masks the reality of the ongoing impunity with which human rights violators continue to operate in Tunisia” (Abdellaoui 2012). As a result, victims may become “increasingly pessimistic and hopeless seeing their torturers live their lives happily with total impunity” (Abdellaoui 2012). In this way activists have been able, both before and during transition, to identify and challenge the state’s regulatory attempts to normalize forms of injustice.

Recalling academic critiques of transitional justice, local contestations of transitional justice in Tunisia have interrogated formal transitional justice processes at the level of substance, epistemology, and procedure. Broadly speaking, those that seek to unsettle, challenge, and transform—in other words, resist—the institutionalized transitional justice process often belong to social groups that have been “expelled” from the economy as the result of decades of neoliberal policy (Sassen 2014). Such groups have been described by Fabio Merone and Francesco Cavatorta (2012) as the “mouhammishin,” that is, the marginalized. Although central to the uprising itself, Tunisia’s mouhammishin have been “barely involved in the construction of the new state” and its processes of “political democratic institutionalization” (Merone and Cavatorta 2012: 2).

The next sections will attempt to redress this by sketching the actions of individuals and groups that have sought to reclaim and redefine transitional justice by sustained activism rooted in communities and everyday life as opposed to institutions and formal politics (Petras 1999; MacGinty and Richmond 2013). In these informal efforts, transitional justice is reclaimed as a process in which the popular forces that brought about the “transition” at stake are afforded a meaningful role in defining and determining the substance of that change.

Procedural Critiques

Despite the advances discussed above, many activists have expressed disappointment with aspects of Tunisia’s formal transitional justice process, including the investigative bodies established by the post-uprising interim government, which produced mixed results. The National Fact-Finding Commission on violence during the uprising submitted its final report, including annexes (with a list of injured and killed) to the then president, Moncef Marzouki, on 2 May 2012. Many activists felt that the work of the commission may have been deliberately undermined due to the failure to grant it subpoena powers to investigate the Interior Ministry and other security officials (Leaders 2012).

Though the third of the investigative bodies—the National Committee for the Investigation of Corruption and Money Laundering—has produced some important reports, it has ultimately proved unsuccessful in holding to account either individuals or companies that benefited from their “connections” with the former regime (Rijkers, Nucifora, and Freund 2014). Recently, the head of a parallel body, the National Authority for the Fight against Corruption, criticized the failure of government bodies to coordinate actions in this area. According to Samir Annabi, although 450 corruption cases were initiated in courts, those that have resulted in convictions and recovered assets can be counted “on the fingers of one hand” (Espace Manager 2015).

Furthermore, the travel bans on several individuals suspected of serious corruption were lifted following the interventions of various political actors, including Wided Bouchamoui, president of the Union of Employers, and Rached Ghannouchi, the founder and leader of Ennahda (Africa Manager 2013). Most recently, Tunisia’s newly elected president, Beji Caid Essebsi has proclaimed the need to “turn the page” on economic crimes, citing the economic consequences of political accountability in the form of “capital flight” (La Presse 2015). However, many activists feel that such justifications mask the entrenched interests of new and old networks of privilege that stand to benefit from a return to the status quo (Hammami 2014). As such, they identify these as forces that work to ensure that “former victims do not become the new beneficiaries” of transition (Meister 2010).

The criminal prosecutions filed by lawyers of victims and victims’ families for acts of state violence in the context of the uprising (17 December 2010 and 14 January 2011) have produced equally mixed, if not outright disappointing, results. From 2011 to 2014 three military tribunals would take place, in Le Kef, Tunis, and Sfax military courts. These were multidefendant trials of alleged crimes committed by state security personnel, including Ben Ali in absentia. There was shock and consternation in 2011 when civilian investigative judges from Kasserine, Le Kef, and Kairouan courts transferred the cases to the military justice system citing Article 22 of Law 70 (1982) regulating the Basic Status of Internal Security Forces (Law 70 assigns to military courts cases involving internal security forces personnel for conduct during the exercise of their duty).

Seen by many as more performative than substantive, these trials have also been criticized for legal flaws that “left the tribunal ill-equipped to identify those who carried out the killings and to address the culpability of high-ranking officials” (Human Rights Watch 2012). Attempts to reform the military judicial system in 2011 were hampered by a lack of independence, with the Defense Ministry tasked with oversight.

Verdicts issued on 12 April 2014 by the Military Court of Appeal of Tunis provoked widespread consternation, particularly because they concerned high-profile former regime members, including the former interior minister, Rafik Haj Kacem, the former director of Ben Ali’s Presidential Guard, Ali Seriati, and the former director general of Public Security, Lotfi Zouaoui. All defendants were sentenced to three years in prison in relation to deaths and injuries to protesters during the 2010–2011 uprising in the cities of Thala, Kasserine, Greater Tunis, and Sfax. The sentences meant that each was released on time-served within two months (Merminod and Baster 2014). Many of these former security officials have now gone on to establish a self-appointed “Council of Wise Men,” intended to provide current security services with “expert,” “technical” advice, often reproducing tropes and practices around national security associated with the Ben Ali era (Chennaoui 2015).

The transitional justice process was inevitably affected by transitional politics. Tunisia’s first democratic elections were held on 23 October 2011, and produced an elected Islamist-secular coalition government, the first of its kind in the region. This newly elected Troika was composed of the left-nationalist Congress for the Republic (CPR), Ennahda, and the center-left party, Ettakatol, and included several ministers who were themselves former political prisoners. Though the coalition government agreed on the terms of future transitional justice processes, it was soon to be criticized by various activists and victim groups for its lackluster performance. In hindsight, it appears that Ennadha’s room for maneuver may have been limited not only by the failure of the NCA to pass transitional justice legislation in a timely fashion but also by an understandable fear of being accused of implementing “victor’s justice,” or of attempting to secure a permanent place for itself within the political elite.

The Troika’s transitional justice efforts were further hamstrung by the political assassinations of 2013. Several elements of the political and media elite insinuated Ennadha’s responsibility (both direct and indirect) for the assassination of two leftist-nationalist politicians (Chokri Belaidand and Mohammed Brahmi). Following an attack on the house of the interior minister, Lotfi Ben Jeddou, during which four security officers were killed and two wounded, further attempts were made to impute responsibility to the Ennahda party (Tunisie Numerique 2014). In December 2013 an agreement was reached within the political elite (including the dominant political parties, as well as the national labor and employers unions and the Tunisian Bar Association), which resulted in the establishment of an unelected, western-backed “technocrat” government tasked with organizing new legislative and executive elections.

Many activists took umbrage with the NCA’s failure to pass a lustration law designed to prohibit former regime figures from assuming public office (pending accountability or acquittal under transitional justice). The so-called Law on the Immunization of the Revolution, like its Electoral Code counterpart (in the form of Article 167), was fiercely contested and criticized for being too divisive and vague. An “overwhelming” majority of Ennahda MPs initially supported the law, despite the protestations of key members of the party’s leadership, including Rachid Ghannouchi (Marks 2015). Perhaps chastened by events in Egypt, where a democratically elected Islamist government was overthrown by a military coup and subsequently subjected to violent suppression, the party ultimately voted down the legislation in the NCA. Its rejection paved the way for the eventual return of ancien régime members, and threatened to “reduce the entire draft law on transitional justice to a footnote” (Mersch 2013).3

The 2014 legislative and presidential elections saw Beji Caid Essebsi’s Nidaa Tounes party – composed of several prominent figures from both the Bourguiba and Ben Ali eras – gain a majority of seats in parliament and form a surprising coalition with the Islamist party, Ennahda. Essebsi held various positions in the Bourguiba government, including interior minister (1965–1969), and was a diplomat as well as president of the Chamber of Deputies under Ben Ali. There are fears that given his previous positions in both the Bourguiba and Ben Ali governments, Essebsi will use his presidential powers to undermine transitional justice. In a newspaper interview in June 2014, Essebsi described the Truth and Dignity Commission as “une machine a régler des compes” (“a machine to settle scores”), and went on to suggest that the Transitional Justice Law should be amended (Business News 2014). During the presidential election, Essebsi told supporters: “We must smile and be hopeful again and not talk of the past.” In January 2015 Amna Guellali (Human Rights Watch) said of Essebsi’s rise to power: “Definitely, there are concerns and there are fears that there will be a backsliding on the transitional justice process” (Al Jazeera 2015).

Most recently, the Essebsi government has sought to undermine the process through the introduction of an “Economic Reconciliation” bill. If passed, this bill would displace the TDC’s jurisdiction on embezzlement and financial crimes under the former regime to a separate commission on “economic reconciliation.” This disruptive move suggests that funds accumulated during Tunisia’s era of economic “liberalization” are unlikely to be redistributed through the transitional justice process.

As Doris Gray (2013) has observed, the fundamental project of “transforming [former victims’] previous identity as enemies of the state, terrorists, ex-prisoners and criminals to national heroes and valuable members of society” has yet to be achieved by Tunisia’s transitional justice process. Noninstitutionalized struggles around the meaning and pace of transitional justice have sought to address the discursive and material vacuum created by these failures.

Noninstitutionalized Politics: Contesting Tunisia’s Globalized Transitional Justice

The manner in which processes of global governance usher revolutionary sentiment towards ostensibly objective and technical standards of transitional justice obscures the fundamentally political nature of this process. Global-governance actors speak disparagingly of “revolutionary justice,” under the assumption that transitional justice is “responsible for resolving all economic, social and political issues,” even in the context of revolution (ICG 2016). However, noninstitutional actors in transitional contexts often reject the constraints of “rational” transitional behavior. Often concerned with returning the debate to invariably political questions of past repression, inequality and justice, noninstitutional actors often bring their demands to the street by occupying public space and engaging in radical uses of social media.

In the context of noninstitutionalized politics, transitional justice actors are taken to task for their failures, variously, to support the revolutionary demands of the uprising; to accommodate transformed notions of citizenship and political subjectivity; and to advance adequate responses to the numerous outstanding grievances surrounding socioeconomic justice, state accountability, and impunity. This resistance takes the form not simply of claim-making vis-à-vis the formal institutions of the state. Insofar as these individuals and movements are nested within communities formerly subjected to the alienation of dictatorship, they also serve important sociability functions, fostering collective healing, community-building, and mutual recognition.

In assessing the 2010–2011 uprisings and their “multiple acts of resistance,” Charles Tripp has reminded us of the importance of recognizing the performative element of protest and its contribution to “the construction of identities, interests, and selves” (Tripp 2013: 209). Sustained “street politics” are one means by which marginalized Tunisians have reached a broad audience – including both the domestic and transnational justice actors described above – by taking issue with the slow progress made by the state-sanctioned transitional justice process. As Bayat contends, the “epidemic potential” of street politics is a particular challenge to forces invested in the status quo, since “streets are not only where people protest, but also where they extend their protest beyond their immediate circle” (Bayat 2003).

A prominent example of noninstitutionalized street politics can be found in an informal grouping that advocates for the “martyrs” of the revolution. Referring to itself as “Awfia” (Loyal), the group is composed of family members of individuals injured and killed by state violence during the 2010–2011 uprising. Demonstrating Bourdieu’s (2014) observation that the “symbolic” aspects of state power are themselves vulnerable to contestation and agentic reappropriation, Awfia’s protests often take place on days conventionally given over to state performances (such as 9 April, Martyrs Day, which conventionally commemorates the victims of Tunisia’s independence struggle). By publicly insisting on the recognition of past and ongoing forms of injustice, Awfia exposes the failures of the formal transitional justice process to a potentially “extended” audience. Staging these protests in front of normally venerated institutions of the state such as courthouses and ministries, the protesters challenge the state’s claimed monopoly over the symbols of truth and justice,

Awfia’s demands include a more expeditious and thoroughgoing achievement of retributive justice. Playing on the lexicon of contestation that became the unofficial catchcry of the 2010–2011uprising (“Ash-sha‘b yurīd isqāt. an-niz̈ām” [the people want the fall of the regime]), the Awfia protesters have demanded: “Ash-sha‘b yurīd al ‘adala li as-shahid” [the people want justice for the martyrs] (TAP 2014). The protesters have not only pointed out that “criminals remain outside,” but have called for the immediate transfer of the trials to a civilian court.4 Many of these protests have been met with police repression, and several protesters have been injured and arrested. The protesters have interpreted the heavy-handed police response as a sign that the government has “refused to recognize the victims and heroes of the revolution” (CWI 2012).

Another scene of resistance to various aspects of the institutionalized transitional justice process that resonates with revolutionary repertoires has entailed the occupation of public space. A prominent example of this can be found in the direct action that took place between January and June 2013, when various groups of former political prisoners, comprising mostly former and current Ennahda members but including an array of leftist activists, consistently occupied a corner of Kasbah Square, Tunis. This sit-in demanded the “activation” of the Amnesty Law passed on 19 February 2011, referring to the law’s stipulation of financial compensation and reinstatement into employment for victims. Banners suspended above the sit-in area were emblazoned with the movement’s slogan: Soumoud (steadfastness; resistance).

The Soumoud sit-in, with its everyday demonstrations of subaltern agency (Richmond and MacGinty 2013), would progress for over five months before it was forcibly disbanded by police, on a municipal order that the space be cleared. The sit-in demanded not simply timely material reparations for state repression, but discursive recognition in the form of a state apology. The emphasis of the protest was not on financial recompense but collective dignity, as expressed by the movement’s spokesperson in an interview with the authors. “We are continuously humiliated. We should be treated with more—let’s say—with more dignity. … You talk about compensation. We don’t talk about compensation, because nothing will compensate us for what we have suffered,” stated Mohamed Agrebi (author interview 2013).5 The sit-in demanded financial reparations only insofar as they provided “a dignified life for a former political prisoner.” The sociability of the Soumoud sit-in (a wedding was held on its site in February 2013) can be seen as the reclamation of “justice” as an expression of everyday social life, to which activism and resistance are central. The organizers of the sit-in used a language of militant activism and resistance. As Agrebi put it: “There is no structure with the sit-in and it does not need a structure. All it needs is militant commitment. It’s kind of automatic management” (interview 2013). The Soumoud sit-in is an example of the “local capital” that is drawn on in grassroots activism—in this instance, from networks of former political prisoners (Richmond and MacGinty 2013). Similar to the invocation of “soumoud” in the context of the Palestinian national struggle, the decision by Tunisian former political prisoners to employ the concept demonstrates the movement’s desire in the Tunisian context to “carv[e] out a form of subjectivity and politics that breaks with the ‘predicament’ of exclusion under Bourguiba’s and Ben Ali’s hegemonic rule” (Meari 2014: 547). In this sense, the sit-in can also be seen as a struggle against the politics of erasure, part of what Lori Allen described in the anticolonial Palestinian context as a “collective production” of everyday life in which demonstrating an intent to “get by” may be interpreted as the assertion of a form of agency at both the social and political level (Allen 2008: 453).

To take another example, Shaid Abidi, who was injured during the revolution in Sidi Bouzid, stated that compensation and reparation “should be in the form of development … to benefit victims and their families,” arguing that this would help to address “the needs of youth and marginalized regions” and would help to “end unemployment” (ICTJ 2015). His comments suggest that “militant” and noninstitutionalized commitment to redistributive politics persists in various forms. Such commitment can be witnessed in the strikes and sit-ins that have taken place in traditionally neglected regions of the country, such as Kasserine and Gafsa, which have served as an engine of revolutionary mobilization since 2008. Most recently, a sit-in organized by unemployed people from Kasserine camped in front the Ministry of Employment for over two months in order to demand their “right to employment” (Pouessel 2016). These protests have also challenged attempts by the government to marginalize more radical demands within the post-uprising political and socioeconomic settlement. The intended audiences of the contentious street politics of these examples are the state (for its elision of the socioeconomic justice aims of the revolution) and, to a certain extent, the largely unreconstructed and corporatist national trade union (Tunisian General Labour Union; UGTT) for its failure to pursue a more revolutionary labor agenda.

Recent labor unrest in the Gafsa region has been focused around more traditional labor issues (pay and hiring practices, for instance), as well as the failure of the government to invest in job creation and reduce regional inequality. Protestors have also criticized the government for its failure to review the contracts of foreign companies, which they view as stymieing a more equitable division of the country’s wealth (Hammami 2014; Soudani 2014).

Protests in the southeastern coastal town Zarzis in early 2015 also suggest ways in which agency can be reclaimed in the process of confronting transitional justice as a site of international power. In expressing their frustration at the revolution’s failure to transform the practices of COTUSAL—a French company that dates back to the late colonial period—activists in Zarzis implicitly censured the self-imposed limits of the transitional justice process. The protesters—workers and community members—point to the failure of the company to invest in community development and infrastructure, to pay taxes, and to transfer salt-refinery technology from France to Tunisia. They also protested the environmental degradation caused by the salt plant’s methods of extraction. Criticizing the political elite for its failure to achieve transformative change, one activist claims: “We don’t need Ennahda or Nidaa [Tounes] or any other party. We need to take back our rights in our town” (Szakal 2015).

Under Ben Ali, the state commanded a monopoly on communication and knowledge production, social media often provides an alternative “public sphere” in which civil society can contest state narratives and express oppositional politics in a way that “radically undermine[s] the ability of states to control or shape information” (Lynch 2012). In the post-uprising Tunisian context, social media networks continue to serve an important function, enabling the exercise of subversive agency by establishing “connections across society, the rapid sharing of information, the coordination of activism, and the expression of political beliefs” (Lynch 2012). One grassroots campaign that has used extensive social media networks to generate awareness and support is Manich Msemah [I will not pardon], formed in opposition to the planned “Economic Reconciliation” law. Like other popular movements, Manich Msemah has been subjected to police repression and presented as a threat to national security. Planned protests to the “Economic Reconciliation” law had to be abandoned after a national state of emergency was extended on 31 July 2015. This extension of the state of emergency has been seen by activists as a means to quell protest around the “Economic Reconciliation” law (Piser 2015).

In the context of noninstitutionalized resistance, one of the most important functions of social media networks has been the rapid and wide dissemination of undisclosed information about former regime abuses. A kind of truth-telling from below, activists of various kinds have used Facebook and sites such as Nawaat-Leaks as a platform to spread political documents in “a secure and confidential manner that protects [the] identity” of the senders (Nawaat 2014).

Revealing another ambiguous instance in which the state–society boundaries become blurred, the former Tunisian president himself, Moncef Marzouki, was believed to have contributed to the online release of a version of his “Black Book,” thus intervening on behalf of “civil society” in the state-led transitional justice process. The book revealed details of the techniques employed by Ben Ali to manipulate his public image, both nationally and internationally. Most controversially, the book lists names of journalists, news agencies, and academics, among other influential figures responsible for engineering public discourse. Supporters of Marzouki’s actions claimed the Black Book would “help to fight impunity and reveal the truth.” Opponents, including various domestic and transnational transitional justice actors, condemned it as a form of ad hoc public disclosure that circumvented state authority (Tolbert 2013).

The satirical Facebook campaign, “Hatta ana haraqt marqez” [I Too Burned a Police Station], uses social media to expose official attempts to deny revolutionary legitimacy to those who were involved in direct actions against police stations during the 2010–2011 uprising (Abrougui 2014). Former state actors have attempted to rewrite history, eliding memories of state violence from official narratives of the 2010–2011 uprising and constructing the security apparatuses instead as victims. During the trial of a fellow police officer convicted of violence in the course of the uprising, a member of Tunisia’s influential Police Union claimed: “There are no martyrs of the Revolution. … The only martyrs of this country are the security services and the army” (Aliriza 2015).

The NCA’s revised Amnesty Law, finally passed on 2 June 2014, only pardons “illegal acts” committed during the 17 December 2010 and 28 February 2011 protests, leaving many activists vulnerable to prosecution and intimidation by the security apparatuses (Boubekeur 2015). Some 20 activists currently face criminal charges for attacks on police stations during the uprising. At a recent hearing at the Court of First Instance in the city of Kasserine, pertaining to the trial of a young activist involved in burning police stations at the time of the uprising, one exasperated Union of Unemployed Graduates (ODC) activist proclaimed: “The case against the youth of the revolution continues. … At the same time, the government promises yet more debt and poverty. It has removed us from the decision-making [process] … and [they] are trying to kill dissenting voices” (Chennaoui 2014).

In proudly proclaiming their participation, these activists assert a “self-consciously agentive” alternative to the normative transitional justice framework, which seeks to mark a temporal rupture with past instances of state violence, but also with the radical and anarchic conditions that enabled the rupture (Allen 2013). As such, they demonstrate the ongoing nature of Tunisia’s revolution, a continuous transformation and assertion of new political subjectivities and rejection of the fear and alienation imposed by past and present forms of repressive governance.

The purpose of this section has been to locate diverse sites of noninstitutionalized engagement with the state-driven justice process. While acknowledging the diversity of the different actors involved—not simply the social media activists and Soumoud and Awfia protestors discussed above, but also “Islamo-anarchists,” subversive rappers, and disaffected youth who have attacked police stations in working-class Tunis neighborhoods (Crane 2014; Dreisbach 2013; Soudani 2014)—these contestations bear certain similarities. If, as Madlingozi (2010) suggests, transitional justice is a regulation of political subjectivity, these instances of noninstitutionalized engagement reveal the ways in which Tunisians are asserting different forms of agency against regulatory global governance discourses of “transition,” among which transitional justice figures prominently. A newly confident, declarative politics is harnessed by constituencies that were often criminalized under the former regime and remain underrecognized by formal transitional justice efforts.

Conclusion

Drawing on existing critical literature, this article has empirically contributed to scholarship that locates transitional justice within a complex web of interests and power associated with global liberal governance. Specifically, this article has demonstrated how transitional justice may function as a purported “alternative” to revolution, meant to signify a rupture in the types of radical claim-making that accompany revolutionary politics. As a strategy of liberal governance, transitional justice is designed to foreclose alternatives to a global liberal order that conditions domestic politics.

This article has also responded to the concern of critical scholarship that “more attention should be given to questions such as how people mobilize in response to [transitional justice] institutions” (Leebaw 2008: 118). Furthermore, it has challenged the substantive and procedural paradigms of transitional justice by taking seriously justice demands and claim-making that occur outside established discursive and normative frameworks. The example of Tunisia’s transitional justice process reinforces critical perspectives that perceive a disconnect, and even contradiction, between the imperatives of revolution (a radical redistribution of power and wealth) and those of “democratic transition” (“stability” and “rule of law” in adherence to a hegemonic and global neoliberalism).

The described examples of ongoing revolutionary mobilization reveal the demand for a broader and more effective and transformative justice process, which is responsive to demands for structural change and the needs of Tunisia’s marginalized communities as opposed to those of a domestic and transnational elite. They raise the possibility that Tunisia’s globally sponsored transitional justice process is flawed not only in a procedural sense but also, and perhaps more insidiously, in its very design. Through their activism, former victims suggest the possibility that these processes are little more than illusionary performances of institutional and political change designed to mask a reality of continuity. Mirroring academic critiques, Tunisian activists have taken issue with the substance and timing of the institutionalized transitional justice process, as well as with questions of representation—that is, who is authorized to speak for whom. Considering the fact that many victims have yet to receive any redress for past crimes and marginalization, it is not surprising that disavowal tends to focus on the deferral and delay of substantive action on the part of the government.

The government responses to many of these activists suggest that those who are not prepared to adjust their activism to fit the modes of liberal governance are open to being branded as hardliners, condemned for obstructing processes of peacebuilding and democratic transition (Sriram 2009). Scenes of noninstitutionalized resistance, despite maintaining local support, may be judged to be reactionary or destabilizing—simply in their counterpoise to the recognized mechanisms of transition. The fact of ongoing mobilization in Tunisia, despite recent examples of (limited) government responsiveness and action toward meaningful justice, suggest that we do well to take seriously the challenges that noninstitutionalized movements pose to internationally sanctioned and state-mandated processes of transitional justice.

NOTES
1

Author interview with ICTJ employee, Central Tunis 26 September 2012.

2

Author interview with Avocates Sans Frontiers employee, La Marsa, 7 May 2015.

3

A majority of Ennahda members voted against the law, in line with members of the “Democratic Bloc,” which includes the leftist Popular Front coalition and the Nidaa Tunis party.

4

They have also demanded a travel ban for each of the incriminated, pending a forthcoming trial.

5

Quotations taken from author interview, Central Tunis, 16 April 2013.

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Contributor Notes

CORINNA MULLIN is a visiting assistant professor in international relations at the University of Tunis and a research associate in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

IAN PATEL is associate lecturer at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He has held postdoctoral posts at the University of East London, School of Law, and King’s College London, School of Law.

Conflict and Society

Advances in Research

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  • KADEM and NPWAJ. 2014a. “Transitional Justice, Accountability & Reconciliation in Tunisia.” A Project of the Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Centre (KADEM) and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ)January. http://www.npwj.org/it/node/374 (accessed 4 May 2014).

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  • KADEM and NPWAJ. 2014b. “Accounting for the Past in Tunisia: An Assessment of Accountability and Transitional Justice Expectations and Perceptions across the Country.” A Project of the Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Centre (KADEM) and No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ)January. http://www.npwj.org/node/6907#sthash.D6JK4qNb.dpuf (accessed 5 May 2014).

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  • KhaliliLaleh. 2007. Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • LambourneWendy. 2009. “Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding after Mass Violence.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 3 no. 1: 2848.

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  • La Presse. 2015. “Caïd Essebsi plaide pour l’unité et la réconciliation nationales.” [Caïd Essebsi pleads for national unity and reconciliation] La Presse23 March. http://www.lapresse.tn/21032015/97447/caid-essebsi-plaide-pour-lunite-et-la-reconciliation-nationales.html (accessed 20 March 2015).

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