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The complainant is Mr. Chedli Ben Ahmed Karoui, a Tunisian citizen, born
on 10 November 1963, currently residing in Sweden, where he seeks asylum. He claims that his
return to Tunisia after dismissal of his refugee claim would constitute a violation of article 3 of
the Convention by Sweden. He is represented by counsel.
In accordance with article 22, paragraph 3, of the Convention, the Committee transmitted
the complaint to the State party on 17 July 2001. Pursuant to rule 108, paragraph 9, of the
Committee’s rules of procedure, the State party was requested not to expel the complainant to
Tunisia while his communication is under consideration by the Committee. In a submission
dated 12 September 2001, the State party informed the Committee that it had decided to defer the
expulsion order against him, and consequently to stay the expulsion order against Mr. Karoui’s
wife and daughter.
The facts as submitted
Mr. Karoui grew up in the town of Jendouba, north-west of the capital Tunis. He
attended high school, where he became interested in philosophical and political issues, especially
in the Islamic movement. He has been an active member of the Islamic Al-Nahdha Movement
since 1981. Later on, he became responsible for the cultural and ideological teaching within the
organization in his neighbourhood.
Because of his affiliation with Al-Nahdha, he was expelled from school in 1979. His
family supported his continued studies in a private school. In 1981, he was detained for 1 month
and 10 days, and interrogated about his political activities, and more specifically about the
demonstrations he had participated in. However, still being a minor, he was released without
penalty. This was the first of a total of seven arrests between 1981 and 1996.
In 1983, he was detained for one month, before being sentenced to six months in prison
for participating in demonstrations against the Government. He was also expelled from school
because of the allegations made against him. When released, he was unemployed and relied
upon the financial support of his family. In 1984, he was arrested and sentenced to two and a
half years in prison for affiliating with Al-Nahdha and participating in demonstrations. In 1986,
he was again arrested and detained for six months under the accusations of having produced and
distributed leaflets against the Government. As the accusations were not proved, he was released
without conviction.
Mr. Karoui tried to leave for Algeria in order to continue his studies, but his passport
was confiscated, and he was prohibited from leaving the country as well as taking up
employment in Tunisia. In spite of this prohibition, he took up casual work for shorter periods.
In November 1987, when the President Ben Ali was elected, the tensions in Tunisia were eased
for a while before the repression hardened again. Although wanted for his participation in
demonstrations against the United States of America’s involvement in the Gulf War, he managed
to travel illegally to Algeria in the end of 1990, in order to continue his studies. He returned to
Tunisia once in June 1991, when his father became ill, but returned to Algeria at the end of the
year after obtaining a Tunisian passport. He pursued his studies until the end of 1992.

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