#زعمة_TownHall : #نبدلو_القانون52_باش

Debate Tunisia Youth Studio TownHall Law52 Cannabis Tunis

#WeChangeLaw52InOrderTo...

A 1992 Ben-Ali era drug law, “Law 52”, is once more causing uproar in post-revolutionary Tunisia, where this Saturday a massive protest took place calling for a government mired in a standoff to debate a reform of the law in parliament. 

Full English Transcript

Following the arrest of three men in a north-western city and their conviction to 30-year sentences, civil society, political parties, and even the Prime Minister are each calling for their own versions of amendments to “Law 52,” which divvies out one of the harshest punishments in the world for possession and consumption of "zatla," or cannabis-based drugs. 

"Law 52" was responsible for putting over 120,000 Tunisians in prison since 1992—one percent of the whole Tunisian population. A 2015 study found that over a quarter of all prisoners were jailed for consumption, approximately 70% of whom were aged 18 to 30 years old. Despite a 2017 amendment that provided judges with the leeway to take into consideration mitigating circumstances, an allowance for the involvement of social services for first and second-time offenders, the creation of a national drug observatory, and treatment centers with substitution therapy, conservative judges are nonetheless applying the full extent of the law, and neither the observatory nor the treatment centers have been addressed whatsoever. 

As part of the Zaama project, #Zaama_TownHall deviates from our standard “FOR” or “AGAINST” debate format. The town hall is an opportunity to draw out the nuances of this complex issue with an eye towards breaking the political stalemate, deriving broad consensus over the need to debate possible amendments to the bill in parliament, and translating fact-driven and research-based public discussion into public policy. Tunisia’s first-ever televised town hall is framed around a hashtag - #We_Change_Law52_InOrderTo… - facilitating a timely, solution-oriented conversation among key politicians, members of parliament, civil society activists, and the country’s youth. 

The two-hour program was moderated by Elyes Gharby and Khouloud Mabrouk, and was aired simultaneously by the country’s leading TV and radio stations on March 14th, 2021 at 9 pm local Tunis time.

Moderator

Elyes Gharbi & Khouloud Maboruk

Location

Tunis

Language

Arabic
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