8 Mar 2011

Tunisia interim govt dissolves secret police

6:56 am on 8 March 2011

Tunisia's newly-appointed interim government has dissolved the secret police.

The notorious state security apparatus has been accused of many human rights abuses during the rule of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted on 14 January.

Interim Prime Minister Caid Essebsi also announced a new government, which includes no members of the old regime, the BBC reports.

The interim government is running Tunisia until elections scheduled to take place on 24 July.

The interior ministry said that it was disbanding the State Security Department, under which the secret police operated, and would respect "civic freedoms and rights".

The move was a "definitive break with any form of organisation resembling the political police at the level of structure, mission or practice" ,it said.

The secret police had played a key role in suppressing the opposition in the country.