Tunisia - Voices of the Revolution
Within under four weeks in early 2011 the Tunisians overthrew a 23-year dictatorship and took their fate into their own hands. 2013 saw the establishment of the Truth and Dignity Commission. This documentary looks at the work of the lawyers and psychologists who have been gathering reports of heinous crimes committed by previous regimes.
For the fist time in well over half a century Tunisians were allowed to vote in democratic elections and received a new constitution enabling victims to report violations of their human rights. At the end of 2013 the Truth and Dignity Commission got to work on its challenging task, with over 600 researchers, lawyers and psychologists deployed across the country. Victims told them how they had suffered under the authoritarian regimes, and how for decades the Tunisian government had destroyed lives, spread fear and declared every man, woman and child a potential suspect. The interviews revealed the absurd lengths the regimes went to. The Commission is addressing wrongs committed in Tunisia from the end of the colonial period to the birth of the country's first democracy. Five trucks converted to serve as mobile offices have been traveling around the country to give everyone - including perpetrators - a chance to make statements in public hearings. Around 65,000 cases have so far been registered, some of which still require clarification. The inquiries sometimes prove dangerous, because many police officers involved in suppressing revolts are still in office. And the staff of the Commission often feel powerless due to many of the perpetrators going unpunished. In the meantime the public hearings have become a political tool in Tunisia; everything addressed at them is on record forever.