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Tunisia changing drug laws

25 Jun, 2014

Tunisia is revamping its drug laws.  The laws have been criticized for having a one-year minimum sentence and for not distinguishing between hard and soft drugs.  More than half  of the 25,000 inmates in the  nation of 11 million are in prison on drug offenses. According to a 2013 U.N. report, prisons in Tunisia are overcrowded, and some facilities are at 150 percent of capacity. The revamping of the drug law was spurred by the arrest of a popular activist and blogger, Aziz Amami.  Amna Guellali, a researcher for Human Rights Watch group, says:

This law has destroyed the lives and futures of millions of young Tunisians who, like Aziz, found themselves, at one point or another, caught in the gears of the justice system.  Law 52 reveals the fundamental problems of the penal and judicial system in Tunisia, which does not guarantee people’s rights and clogs prisons with minor offenders.