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Counsel provides the report of a follow-up interview held
on 24 February 1997 between the author and the Immigration and Naturalization
Department in which the author acknowledged that his real name was not A. and
explained that he would only reveal his real name and provide proof of his
identity if he was given assurances that he would not be sent back to Tunisia.
He also said that his father had experienced problems when he tried to obtain
an extract from the birth register after his departure. He was questioned by
officials of the municipality and later by the police who asked him for the
author’s whereabouts.
Counsel indicates that according to reports by Amnesty International
there is a consistent pattern of gross human rights violations in Tunisia. He
also provides copy of a letter sent by the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees on 4 March 1997 to a colleague of his in connection with the
asylum request of another Tunisian in which the following is stated: “We can
confirm that the mere fact of being perceived by the Tunisian authorities as a
member or supporter or even having just simple contacts with the Al-Nadha
movement could lead to persecution. Moreover, we are in fact aware that some
individuals have been interrogated and even harassed by the Tunisian police on
the mere ground of having received letters from Tunisians abroad who are
considered by the Tunisian authorities to be members of Al-Nadha. Therefore,
claims of persecution from asylum seekers of the first mentioned category may
well be of a nature that would entitle them to be recognized as refugees.”
The author claims that if he is returned to Tunisia he will be
for having deserted and that his desertion would be construed by the
authorities as evidence of his links with the Al-Nahda movement. In
his experience during his previous detentions he believes he will be
to torture again.

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State party’s observations
On 24 October 1997 the Committee, acting through its Special Rapporteur
for new communications, transmitted the communication to the State party for
comments and requested the State party not to expel or deport the author to
Tunisia while his communication was under consideration by the Committee.
In a submission dated 23 December 1997 the State party indicates that
the author applied for asylum on 24 March 1994, after he had been discovered
living illegally in the Netherlands under the name of M.A.O., born in Iraq.
Later on, he declared to the authorities that he was in fact an Algerian
national and that his name was A. His application was rejected by decision of
14 December 1995. He then lodged an objection against this decision and asked
the President of the District Court for an interim injunction to prevent his
expulsion. In the objection he claimed to have Tunisian nationality and to
live in fear of the Tunisian authorities. The application for an interim
injunction was dismissed on 19 July 1996 and the author’s objection was held
to be unfounded by decision of 15 July 1996. An appeal against this decision
was declared to be unfounded by judgement of 17 January 1997.
On 10 February 1997 the author was detained following a check for
illegal labour in a company and placed in custody pending expulsion. On
12 February 1997 he submitted a second application for asylum, which was

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