Four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have linked up to defend the Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LTDH), after a court suspended its activities, they said in a statement Saturday.
A court on Monday upheld a complaint by four unsuccessful candidates in recent elections to the League's executive committee and immediately froze its activities, sending in a judicial administrator on Thursday.
Two associations -- Democratic Women and Young Lawyers -- and two groups which are not officially recognized, the National Council for Liberties in Tunisia and the Rally for an International Development Alternative, declared Saturday that the move was "a political decision dressed up in judicial clothing".
Their joint statement accused the government of the north African country of implementing a "policy of harassment and restriction of the activities of autonomous bodies" and vowed to "fight to safeguard the LTDH and against the unworthy campaign attacking it."
The government on Friday officially denied having anything to do with the court ruling, which stems from controversy over the executive committee of the LTDH elected at the end of October, and include members perceived as radicals.
The LTDH was founded in 1977 as the first human rights organization in the Arab world. The four NGOs called for "the mobilization of all forces in civilian society to defend it."
The four unsuccessful participants in the poll include two activists from the governing Constitutional Democratic Rally, a former Member of Parliament from the legal opposition and a journalist.
On Friday they told the press that they did not want to see the LTDH wound up but simply to have the outcome of its last congress annulled – TUNIS (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )