The members of the Committee on Individual Freedoms and Equality stressed on Wednesday that the report they submitted last June 12 to the President of the Republic on the reforms of the individual freedoms and equality does not oppose the provisions of the Islamic religion.
At a press conference held Wednesday in Dar Edhiafa in Carthage, the committee members focused on the modernist approach adopted by Tunisia since the 19th century so that Tunisian society is not dependent on traditional positions that do not adapt to the civilisational and cultural development of the country.
In this context, they said that the committee consulted professors at the University of Zitouna to draw up its report.
Slaheddine Jourchi, member of the committee, pointed out that among the important and sensitive points in this report that will provoke controversy, equality in inheritance between men and women, knowing that the committee has suggested that it would be possible for the inheritor to oppose this equality and to apply the current law of inheritance by making the boy benefit the double of the shares of his sister.
Regarding conjugal life, Jourchi said the report stressed the need for a real partnership between spouses at the level of guardianship and spending.
The report also suggests the abolition of the death penalty and the annulment of the criminalisation of homosexuality.
In this connection, Slim Loghmani, member of the committee pointed out that the report suggests to cancel the criminalisation of homosexuality or to lighten the penalties by suppressing imprisonment and by instituting a financial fine.
Loghmani called on civil society and media to play their full part in explaining the content of the report to the public.
He also underlined the important role that political forces must play in organising a responsible debate in parliament when discussing the draft laws proposed in the report.
In turn, Director of the Kawakbi Centre for Democratic Transitions Amine Ghali, said that civil society has unanimously and unreservedly stressed that this report is very positive.
Speaking on this occasion, the official spokesperson for the Presidency of the Republic Saida Garrach said that Tunisia is going through a historic period, stressing that the forward-looking proposals of the committee will contribute to the achievement of a profound change in the Tunisian society.
Composed of 235 pages, the report is divided into two main parts, one on individual rights and freedoms the other on equality.
Two bills are proposed as part of this report, namely an organic law on the Code of Individual Rights and Freedoms and an organic law on combating discrimination against women and between children.
The first draft law on individual rights and freedoms highlights the need to cancel the death penalty and to enshrine the right to life, dignity, physical integrity, security and freedom, freedom of thought, of conscience and religion, the right to privacy (the emotional, corporal and family life), the confidentiality of correspondence and others.
This bill criminalises discrimination and the call to suicide and stipulates the cancellation of the control of artistic and cultural productions and the circular on the closure of cafes during the month of Ramadan.
The second bill on combating discrimination against women and between children includes articles relating to women and the family in general.
It is divided into two parts, the first concerns equality between men and women, while the second concerns equality between children.
The first part stipulates the need to guarantee equality in the nationality code by giving, for example, the right to Tunisian nationality to any child born in Tunisia and having a paternal grandmother of Tunisian nationality or a mother or children maternal grandparents of Tunisian nationality.
The bill recommends, in addition, the cancellation of the dowry, the non-discrimination between the parents in the marriage consent to the minor currently limited to the father (Article 8 of the personal status code).
The bill also recommends the cancellation of the deadlines gradually and reviewing article 23 of the Personal Status Code (The two spouses must fulfill their conjugal duties in accordance with habits and customs) by deleting the terms “habits and customs “, which according to the report represent a danger and the expression” the father as head of the family “to guarantee equality between the spouses.
It is also suggested to amend Article 38 of the Personal Status Code (The husband owes food to the wife after consummation of the marriage and during the period of divorce in the event of divorce) to add “unless she has a money entrance. Thus the woman’s right to food will no longer be automatic, especially if she has a fixed income.
According to the report, to achieve full equality, it is also appropriate to assign the maternal or paternal surname to the child or both.
With regard to the inheritance law, the report emphasises the importance of launching a new initiative to amend this law and recommends the need to devote total equality to inheritance.
The principle would be equality, the exception would be to give the right to the successor to sign a will to maintain the distribution of shares as stipulated in the current code.
The report also recommends protecting the rights of girls by giving them the right to choose equality.
It also shows the need to ensure equality between legitimate and natural children.
The national coordination of the defense of the Koran, the constitution, development and justice will hold tomorrow, Thursday, a press conference in Tunis under the theme “the initiative of the discord … an attack on the identity and a threat to social peace.
The coordination also calls for the signing of an electronic petition called: no to the amendment of the law of inheritance and the provisions of the family in Islam.
The petition is already signed by the association of the elders of the Zituna mosque, the national union council of Imam preachers and mosques executives, the association of machayekh authority (imams) of Tunisia, the association of imams for moderation and the fight against extremism and the association Daoua and Islah.