Tunisia. According to
Countryaah, several human rights organizations criticized
Tunisia's police, military and judicial system for various
forms of abuse during the year. One example was human rights
activist Khemais Ksila, vice president of the Tunisian
League for Human Rights Defense, who in February was
sentenced to five years in prison for disrupting public
order, spreading hostile rumors and urging the country's
residents to break the law.
The government announced in May that the country's
privatization program would accelerate through the sale of
50 companies before the end of 1999. The decision followed
an agreement with the EU which meant increased aid to
Tunisia on the condition that privatizations were carried
out at a faster pace.
In February, Parliament voted for a total ban on smoking
in public places.