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the Night Prayer Vigil 2018

Rached Jaïdane

In 1993, Rached Jaidane, then a teacher at university in France, traveled to Tunisia in order to attend his sister’s wedding. On July 29th, State Security agents questioned him at his home during the night and without a warrant. Then followed 38 days of incommunicado detention and torture at The Ministry of Defense under direct supervision of senior officials of Ben Ali’s security regime. Rached Jaidane was asked about his alleged links to a leader of the Ennhada Islamist party, in exile in France. Under duress, he ended up signing, without reading them, confession papers in which he admits to have orchestrated an attack against Ben Ali and his party.
3 years later, following a trial that lasted 45 minutes, Rached Jaïdane was sentenced to 26 years in prison. He was released in 2006, after 13 years of torture and abuse in Tunisian jails.

It was only following the revolution, in 2011, that he was finally able to file a complaint. The investigation into the claims of torture was sloppy. The indescribable tortures he suffered are only described as simple violent offenses, punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, and this due to the fact that the crime called "torture" did not exist in the law at the time of the incidents. Even so, the judge had many other options that would have allowed him to qualify these actions as a crime.
The trial got postponed repeatedly. The verdict came in April 2015: statute of limitation! The facts are considered too old.

Two years later, following a complaint filed by ACAT and TRIAL International, the UN Committee Against Torture condemned Tunisia for Rashid Jaïdane’s torture and the impunity of the cover up.
The committee, believing that maintaining the statute of limitation constitutes a violation of the declaration against torture, ordered Tunisisa to hold another investigation and to have the torturers condemned for a crime that would reflect the severity of their actions.

Despite that decision made by the UN in December 2017, the court of Appeal of Tunis maintained the statute of limitation.
This decision annihilated any hope that Rached Jaidane would find justice, but also settled something in stone: the fact that crimes of the past, suffered by thousands of citizens under the Ben Ali and Bouguiba regimes, will go unpunished. This means the whole transitional process of the justice system is in jeopardy. His lawyer has called upon the court of Cassation.

ACAT is working at her side in order for Rached Jaidane to find justice 25 years later.

What can you do?

You can write a letter in support of Rached Jaidane and send it to ACAT, who will deliver it to him:

Action Rached Jaïdane
Responsable Maghreb / Moyen-Orient
7, rue Georges Lardennois
75019 Paris


Rached Jaïdane

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