Mehdi Jomaa and Its Government Members Declare Assets – Court of Auditors

Tunis — The first President of the Court of Auditors (Court of accounts) announced, Monday, in a statement, that Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa and all members of his government had declared their assets and those of their spouses and children, in the legal deadlines, in implementation of the law 87-17 of 1987.

Up to March 14, two thirds of the outgoing government members had fulfilled this formality, according to the same source.

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PM Steps Up Meetings in UAE to Bolster Political, Economic Relations

Abu Dhabi, — Interim PM Mehdi Jomaa and the delegation of ministers and businessmen accompanying him in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continued talks with their Emirati counterparts and big investors in Tunisia so as to bolster bilateral political and economic relations.

Jomaa, who is accompanied by Foreign Minister Mongi Hamdi and Economy and Finance Minister Hakim Ben Hammouda, conferred, on Sunday afternoon, with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The PM had previously met with Deputy PM of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs Mansour Ben Zayed Al Nahyan.

According to official sources of Tunisia’s delegation, talks focused on “possibilities of providing economic and financial support to Tunisia so as to help it overcome economic difficulties.”

According to the same sources, talks also discussed the willingness of the two sides to develop bilateral political relations and strengthen strategic economic co-operation in the medium term.”

The PM also received, Sunday morning, a delegation of Emirati investors and businessmen in Tunisia and elsewhere, among whom are Group Chief Executive Officer of “Port and Free Zone World” Majid Bin Thaniah, representative of the pilot project of the industrial and economic area of Ennfidha Saad Ben Bati and project president Abderrahmane Bukhatir.

According to Hakim Ben Hammouda, the meetings with the Emirati big investors were “very reassuring on the future of the Emirati projects in Tunisia despite several difficulties.”

The Minister said the PM had expressed to the Emirati investors “the commitment of the Tunisian government to provide all necessary conditions for the success of their investments.”

The Tunisian businessmen delegation headed by President of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) Wided Bouchamaoui, who is accompanying the PM on his tour to the Gulf region, conferred, on Sunday with members of the Abu Dhabi Business Chamber.

The two sides agreed, during this meeting to cement ties between the two employers’ organisations and work on boosting cooperation in the field of investment.

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Tunisian, UAE Investors Agree to Hold Two Major Economic Events Soon

Abu Dhabi, — Tunisian and Emirati businessmen have agreed to hold two “major economic events” in the next two months in Tunisia, President of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) Wided Bouchamaoui said after her meeting Sunday in Abu Dhabi with members of the Business Chambers of Abu Dhabi.

They are the Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (April 2014) and the Meeting of the Gulf Investment Forum (May 2014).

The PM started, Saturday, a tour to the Gulf region where he first made a two-visit to the United Arab Emirates. He met with Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The PM is travelling to Saudi Arabia, Sunday evening, on the second leg of this tour in the Gulf, before visiting Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.

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ANHRI Demands to Drop Charges Against Blogger ‘Maher Zeid’, and to Reverse the Travel Ban Decision

Cairo: — The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), today, denounced the ruling of the First Court of Instance, in Tunisia, against blogger ” Maher Zeid”. The court imposed travel ban on the blogger because of his statements to “Ettounsiya TV”, concerning the murder of a number of security personnel during the terrorist attack carried out in Bulla Regia.

On March 11, Court of First Instance’s investigative judge, at the third bureau, banned blogger “Maher Zeid” from traveling, over an accusation of “failure to notify the authorities”with the information he identifies about the murder of a number of security personnel during the terrorist attack in Bulla Regia; including Lieutenant “Sukrat Al-Sharouni” besides other six officers of the national guard. The seven martyrs had been killed in “Sidi Ali Ben Aoun” town, Sidi Bou Zid Governorate, in confrontations with a terrorist group.

Upon the public prosecution’s decision, security forces on March 9 apprehended the blogger at Al-Tadamon Al-Shabei district, west Tunis, and transferred him to the National Guard barracks in Awina, north Tunis. He was summoned for investigation over his statements about the murder of a number of security personnel, in which he hinted that the killers are not terrorists and the authorities identify the culprits well. Moreover, he mentioned that he would publish an article within ten days, through which he analyzes the attack’s facts. A few hours after probing the blogger, the prosecution ordered his release and referral to the judiciary for investigations.

Noticeably, the security forces, on March 8, arrested the blogger’s brother; believing that he is the blogger himself. After checking his identity, the blogger’s brother was released. ANHRI elucidated that the security bodies addressed the blogger, when they were transferring him to the court, as a criminal; as the blogger was escorted by 10 masked security personnel and many police cars.

“The blogger’s arrest besides interrogating him over his statements are clear violations of press and media freedoms. In addition, such measures infringe Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which stipulates: “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Moreover, everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.”

The blogger published an article about the facts of killing a number of security personnel in a terrorist attack, which in turn negates the charge of covering up information. If the blogger intended to cover up the terrorists or the attack’s implementers, he would hide the facts and information that he knows, ANHRI added.

ANHRI calls on Tunisian authorities to drop all charges against the blogger, to discontinue his prosecution over this accusation and to promptly reverse the travel ban decision.

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