Born in Grombalia
, Tunisia, Marzouki was the son of a Qadi
. His father, being a supporter of Salah Ben Youssef
(Bourguiba's opponent), emigrated to Morocco in the late 1950s because of political pressures.
Marzouki finished his secondary education in Tangier
, where he obtained the Baccalauréat
He then went to study medicine at the University of Strasbourg
. Returning to Tunisia in 1979, he founded the Center for Community Medicine in Sousse
and the African Network for Prevention of Child Abuse, also joining Tunisian League for Human Rights.
In his youth, he had travelled to India
to study Mahatma Gandhi
's non-violent resistance.
Later, he also travelled to South Africa
to study its transition from apartheid
Marzouki giving an interview, Tunis 1990.
When the government cracked down violently on the Islamist Ennahda Movement
in 1991, Marzouki confronted Tunisian President Ben Ali
calling on him to adhere to the law.
In 1993, Marzouki was a founding member of the National Committee for the Defense of Prisoners of Conscience, but he resigned after it was taken over by supporters of the government. He was arrested on several occasions on charges relating to the propagation of false news and working with banned Islamist
groups. He subsequently founded the National Committee for Liberties. He became President
of the Arab Commission for Human Rights
and as of 17 January 2011 continues as a member of its executive board.
President of Tunisia
On 12 December 2011, the Constituent Assembly of Tunisia
, a body elected to govern the country and draft a new constitution, elected Marzouki as interim president, with 155 votes for, 3 against, and 42 blank votes.
Blank votes were the result of a boycott from the opposition parties, who considered the new mini-constitution of the country an undemocratic one. He was the first president who was not an heir to the legacy of the country's founding president, Habib Bourguiba
On 3 May 2012, Nessma TV
owner Nabil Karoui and two others were convicted of "blasphemy" and "disturbing public order". The charges stemmed from the network's decision to broadcast a dubbed version of the 2007 Franco-Iranian film Persepolis
, which includes several visual depictions of God. Karoui was fined 2,400 dinars for the broadcast, while the station's programming director and the president of the women's organization which provided dubbing for the film were fined 1,200 dinars.
Responding to the verdict, Marzouki stated to members of the press in the presidential palace in Tunis
, "I think this verdict is bad for the image of Tunisia. Now people in the rest of the world will only be talking about this when they talk about Tunisia."
As President, Marzouki played a leading role in establishing Tunisia's Truth and Dignity Commission
in 2014, as a key part of creating a national reconciliation.
In March 2014, President Marzouki lifted the state of emergency
that had been in place since the outbreak of the 2011 revolution, and a top military chief said soldiers stationed in some of the country's most sensitive areas would return to their barracks. The decree from President Marzouki said the state of emergency ordered in January 2011 is lifted across the country immediately. The state of emergency was imposed by longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and maintained after he was overthrown. It was repeatedly renewed.
In April 2014, he cut his pay by two-thirds, citing the state's need to be a model in dealing with the deteriorating financial situation.
From a first marriage, Moncef Marzouki has two daughters: Myriam and Nadia. In December 2011, during a private civil ceremony in Carthage Palace
, he married Beatrix Rhein, a French physician.
Tunisian National Honours
- Grand Collar of the Order of Independence (In his capacity as President of the Tunisian Republic)
- Grand Collar of the Order of the Republic (In his capacity as President of the Tunisian Republic)
- Grand Cordon of the National Order of Merit (In his capacity as President of the Tunisian Republic)
Distinctions and awards
Chatham House prize in 2012, Moncef Marzouki & Rached Ghannouchi.
- Arabes, si vous parliez, ed. Lieu commun, Paris, 1987
- Laisse mon pays se réveiller : vers une quatrième civilisation, ed. Éditions pour le Maghreb arabe, Tunis, 1988
- Le mal arabe, ed. L'Harmattan, Paris, 2004
- Dictateurs en sursis : une voie démocratique pour le monde arabe, ed. de l'Atelier, Paris, 2009
- L'invention d'une démocratie. Les leçons de l'expérience tunisienne, ed. La Découverte, Paris, 2013
- Tunisie, du triomphe au naufrage (with Pierre Piccinin da Prata & Thibaut Werpin), ed. L'Harmattan, Paris, 2013
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- ^ "Tunisian president cuts own pay by two-thirds". 14 April 2014.
- ^ "Tunisian secular leader Essebsi sworn in as new president", Reuters, 31 December 2014.
- ^ Tunisia's ex-president Marzouki arrives in France after detention in Israel, Ahram Online, 30 June 2015
- ^ "Marzouki en mission d'observation des élections aux Îles Comores". 10 February 2016.
- ^ "La nouvelle 'Première dame' de Tunisie : Pourquoi tant de mystère?". Nawaat. 3 April 2013.
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- ^ "Le Directeur général remet la Médaille d'or de l'ISESCO au Président tunisien". 29 December 2012.
- ^ "Chatham House Prize 2012 - Rached Ghannouchi and Moncef Marzouki". 8 April 2015.
- ^ "Marzouki docteur honoris causa de l'université de Tsukuba". 4 July 2013.
- ^ "Le Prix annuel d'El Qods 2015, attribué à Moncef Marzouki". 29 November 2015.
- ^ "Moncef Marzouki reçoit le Prix de la Paix de la Fondation italienne Ducci".
- ^ "Toplist Arabic 2018". 17 January 2018.
Last edited on 6 May 2021, at 16:59
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