Keyword: Ben Ali regime

What US cables reveal about France and the Ben Ali regime

By and
 © (Reuters) © (Reuters)

French foreign minister Michèle Alliot-Marie has been forced to resign after a series of revelations over her close ties with the entourage of deposed Tunisian strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. After a luxurious holiday in Tunisia during the popular uprising then sweeping the country, she later offered French security "know-how" to the desperate Ben Ali regime during its last days in power. But Alliot-Marie was far from alone in her disinterest of the dire human rights abuses exacted under Ben Ali's 23-year reign, as confirmed by US diplomatic cables revealed exclusively here. In this first report following Mediapart's newly-reached partnership with WikiLeaks, we detail how official French policy towards Tunis has for years placed bi-lateral security issues well above concerns for democracy.

How the Ben Ali regime spooked a nation

 © Reuters © Reuters

The fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak followed directly the overthrow in January of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. The two strongmen had much in common, beginning with their secret police. Mediapart has obtained official documents seized during the strife in Tunisia which illustrate the extent of the Ben Ali regime's nationwide web of informers, ranging from taxi drivers to undercover agent 'activists'.