Last Updated: Monday, 29 September 2014, 15:46 GMT

Tunisia: Treatment of Bahai's (or Baha'is) by non-Bahai's and Tunisian authorities; whether they have been targets of threats and/or violence; police attitude towards Bahai's, police response to complaints lodged by Bahai's and police protection available

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 17 April 2003
Citation / Document Symbol TUN41362.E
Reference 5
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Tunisia: Treatment of Bahai's (or Baha'is) by non-Bahai's and Tunisian authorities; whether they have been targets of threats and/or violence; police attitude towards Bahai's, police response to complaints lodged by Bahai's and police protection available , 17 April 2003, TUN41362.E , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3f7d4e277.html [accessed 30 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Citing statistics on faith adherence by country, the Adherents.com Website quotes David Barrrett's World Christian Encyclopedia (2001) as claiming that the number of Bahai faith adherents in Tunisia was 1,450 in 1990 (10 Nov. 2001). However, according to

The Freedom House annual report entitled Freedom in the World 2001-2002 states that religions other than Islam "are generally tolerated, with the exception of Bahai, whose adherents may not practice publicly" (2002).

Similarly, Country Reports 2002 states that, in 2002, "the Government regarded the Baha'i faith as a heretical sect of Islam and permitted its adherents to practice their faith only in private" (31 Mar. 2003, Sec. 2.c).

The International Religious Freedom Report for 2002 also states that

the Government regards the Baha'i Faith as a heretical sect of Islam and permits its adherents to practice their faith only in private. Although the Government permits Baha'is to hold meetings of their National Council in private homes, it reportedly has prohibited them from organizing local councils. The Government reportedly pressures Baha'is to eschew organized religious activities. There are credible reports that police periodically call in prominent Baha'is for questioning; however the number of such incidents decreased during the period covered by this report. The Government also unofficially denied the Baha'i request for permission to elect local assemblies during the period covered by this report. The Government also does not permit Baha'is to accept a declaration of faith from persons who wish to convert  (7 Oct. 2002, Sec. 2).

No additional information on the treatment of the members of the Bahai faith in Tunisia by the authorities and the non-Bahai in general could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Adherents.com. 10 November 2001. "Religion by Name Index: Bahai Faith." [Accessed 15 Apr. 2003]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2002. 31 March 2003. United States Department of State, Washington, DC. [Accessed 15 Apr. 2002]

Freedom House. 2002. Freedom in the World 2001-2002. . [Accessed 15 Apr. 2002]

International Religious Freedom Report for 2002. 7 October 2002. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 15 Apr. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

LEXIS/NEXIS

Internet sites, including

Amnesty International. Search engine facility

Bahai News

Bahai World News Service. Search Engine Facility

The Baha'i World

European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI-NET)

Human Rights Watch (HRW). Search engine facility

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

World News Connection (WNC)

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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