Tunisian and Dutch Officials Join Forces Against Violent Extremism

Our Tunisia team concluded the first phase of the project Deradicalization in Tunisian prisons through Rehabilitation and Reintegration Programs, launched in 2015 with the support of the Dutch Embassy in Tunisia and in collaboration with the Tunisian Directorate General of Prisons and Rehabilitation (DGPR).

To close off Phase I, we organized a study visit to the Netherlands for a delegation of senior officials from the DGPR and the Tunisian Ministry of Justice in September. The delegation was led by the Director General of Prisons, Colonel Major Elyes Zalleg, and comprised of a senior official of the Tunisian Ministry of Justice, two Central Directors of the DGPR, and our own Program Manager, Mr. Bouraoui Ouni.

During the three-day exchange, the delegations discussed experiences and good practices in a Dutch prison that houses violent extremist prisoners and others convicted of terrorism. They visited prisons devoted to rehabilitation and de-radicalization programs and explored management strategies for violent extremist prisoners with officials from the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security. They also visited the National Coordinator for the Fight against Terrorism in the Netherlands and met officials of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Tunisian and Dutch officials discussed opportunities for further cooperation in the penitentiary field in general, and issues specifically relating to the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist prisoners and juvenile delinquents.

A second phase of the project, Preventing Radicalization and Violent Extremism in Tunisian Prisons and Child Detention Centers and Ensuring Sustainable Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Detainees, is in the works for 2018-2019.