Civil society organizations in Tunisia are challenging the 2015 anti-terrorism law adopted in July 2015.
A network of NGOs in the country on Thursday called for the law’s revision, saying that the legislation contains “major breaches on the rules of fair trial”.
Tunisian human rights defenders believe that this anti-terrorism law is comparable to one passed in 2003 during the reign of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Antonio Manganella, director of the local office of Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) said: “Both the 2003, and the 2015 laws are characterized by particularly repressive clauses, and ambiguity in the definition of the term terrorism, and certain terrorism-related offenses. This adds on to the somewhat random nature of the judicial system.”
Among the major points of contention include the length of time spent in police custody for up to 15 days and the possibility of preventing the presence of a lawyer during the first 48 hours of the hearing.
Tunisia’s anti-terrorism law was passed last year in the wake of two major attacks against foreign tourists by Islamic State gunmen, the first at the Bardo museum in Tunis, and the second on a beach in the Tunisian city of Sousse.