More than 30 NGOs slam Tunisia economic crimes amnesty

More than 30 NGOs slam Tunisia economic crimes amnesty
A decree by Tunisia's president to offer non-penal sentences for economic crimes has been condemned by NGOs.
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Kais Saied seized power last year in a coup [Getty]

More than 30 local and international organisations called Tuesday for the suspension of a Tunisian presidential decree offering non-penal sentences for economic crimes.

The amnesty decree issued by President Kais Saied, a former law professor, on 21 March covers crimes including theft of public funds and money laundering.

Rather than prosecuting and sentencing offenders to jail time, the "criminal reconciliation" decree allows for the "payment of sums of money" or investment in national or local initiatives.

The amnesty would also be open to those already convicted. 

"The criminal reconciliation decree feeds impunity and hides the truth," 34 organisations, including rights organisations and other advocacy groups, said in a statement.  

Saied suspended parliament and assumed sweeping powers in July last year.