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EOS Alerts 8-3-2019

Tunisia: President Extends State of Emergency Until 5 April

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi extended the nationwide state of emergency for another month until 5 April.

The state of emergency has been in place since a jihadist attack in November 2015 in Tunis. The Islamic State (IS) group claimed the attack, as well as bombings earlier in 2015 at the Bardo National Museum and a shooting at a beach resort that killed 59 foreign tourists and a Tunisian guard. The security measures will continue to give police extra powers of search and arrest. It gives authorities additional powers such as the suspension of certain civil rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution, in the interest of maintaining civil order as part of broader counterterrorism and anti-corruption efforts. Under the state of emergency, authorities can ban strikes and gatherings deemed likely to cause disorder, temporarily close theatres and bars, and secure control over the press and all types of publications. The government has repeatedly renewed the state of emergency despite its assurances that security has improved in the North African state.

The continuation of a national state of emergency in Tunisia is representative of the ongoing threat of terrorism that the country faces. Those operating or residing in the country are reminded to be aware of the indiscriminate nature of terrorism and for the possibility of both lone wolf and planned coordinated terror attacks to take place, particularly over the election period. Report any suspicious packages, behaviour or activity to the authorities and remain vigilant.

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