Tunisia must reform 'draconian' drug laws

Drug law reformers have warned that 'Law 52' is 'destroying lives'

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has slammed Tunisia’s “draconian” drug laws, which have resulted in drug offences accounting for 28 percent of the prison population.

The organisation’s new report condemns the controversial “Law 52,” passed under former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, which stipulates harsh penalties for drug use in the country.

"If you smoke a joint in Tunisia, you risk getting arrested, beaten up by the police, sent for a urine test, and then sentenced to a year in an overcrowded prison with hardened criminals as your cellmates," said Amna Guellali, Tunisia director at HRW.

In 70 percent of convictions for drug offences the drug in question has been cannabis resin,

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