The Tunisian parliament voted Saturday almost unanimously a law providing the death penalty for those found guilty of terrorism after the attacks of Sousses Islamists in June.
The Tunisian parliament voted Saturday almost unanimously a law providing the death penalty for those convicted of terrorism after the Islamist attacks that caused dozens of deaths in last month. After three days of debate and hours of talks Friday in camera to find a consensus on the text, MEPs approved the law on “the fight against terrorism and money laundering” by 174 MPs in favor, 10 abstentions and no votes against. “With pride, we have lived this historic moment (…) this law will reassure citizens,” said the President of the Assembly, Mohamed Ennaceur, the elect who came to sing the national anthem in the Chamber .
This vote came in a context of growing threat after the attacks in June in Sousse (38 tourists killed) and March in the Bardo Museum in Tunis (22 dead, including 21 tourists), claimed by Islamic State group. This text replaces Terrorism Act of 2003, adopted under the dictatorship of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and widely used, according to advocates of human rights, to suppress the opposition, particularly the Islamist party Ennahda then forbidden and today ‘ hui a major Tunisian political forces.
A text controversial NGO
The NGOs, who hoped that the new legislation would be more respectful of the rule of law, have expressed disappointment and criticism. Thus, the death penalty, absent from the 2003 text was introduced to a series of “terrorist” crimes. Capital punishment existed in the penal code but Tunisia observed a moratorium on executions since 1991.
NGOs also denounced the attention in view of deadline to 15 days during which the suspect access to a lawyer, or the easy use of wiretapping. “This legislation represents a real danger to the rights and freedoms in Tunisia, many sprains with international standards of human rights have been incorporated in the text and (they) represent a decrease from the 2003 Law” Amna regretted Guellali, Human Rights Watch representative in Tunis.
“This bill is a bad signal to be given to the free world is watching. You do not fight terrorism with the retrograde reforms! “Insisted his side the criminal lawyer Ghazi Mrabet.Enfin left opposition held that the text and its vague definition of” terrorism “could enable ‘include unrelated disputes movements with so-called terrorist movements. The Head of State, Beji Caid Essebsi, called in the morning Tunisia to unite against the jihadist threat. Speaking at the antenna of the Mosaic FM radio on the eve of the feast of the Republic, he stressed once again that the country “is at war against terrorism.”
16 suspected terrorists arrested this week
“The army, the National Guard, the security forces are doing their duty and the Tunisian people must be solidarity,” he has said, “the country must overcome this crisis Everyone must unite. ” Sign of the tension prevailing in Tunisia, the Interior Ministry announced on the morning of the attacks have foiled project in the north, in the region of Bizerte, arresting 16 suspects, killing another and seizing weapons automatic and explosives.
Tunisia is successful democratic transition model figure in the Arab world since its revolution in January 2011, but it faces a growing jihadist threat to socio-economic tensions ever more acute, so that the authorities fear that the country falling into instability. The strategic tourism sector has suffered heavy losses since the attacks of Sousse and the Bardo, and the government has many announcements, including the establishment of a state of emergency in an attempt to reassure travelers and partners foreigners.