Tunisia's Essebsi orders four-month extension of 2015 state of emergency

Tunisia's Essebsi orders four-month extension of 2015 state of emergency
2 min read
14 June, 2017
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has ordered a four-month extension of a state of emergency in place since 2015 when
The government has repeatedly renewed the state of emergency [AFP]

Tunisia has extended a state of emergency, in place since a 2015 militant attack, by another four months, the president's office announced on Wednesday.

"President Beji Caid Essebsi decided on Wednesday to extend the state of emergency for four months starting from Thursday, 15 June," his office said on Facebook.

The state of emergency has been in place since a series of militant attacks in the country.

The Islamic State group claimed an attack on presidential guards as well as earlier attacks on foreigners at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis and at a beach resort near Sousse, which left 59 foreign tourists and a Tunisian guard dead.

They were part of a wave of extremist violence since a revolution toppled long-time dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

The government has repeatedly renewed the state of emergency despite its assurances that security has improved in the North African state.

A source in the president's office, who asked not to be identified, said that after recent attacks claimed by IS in London and Manchester, "it's better to be vigilant".

The state of emergency gives much greater powers to the police and allows the banning of strikes and meetings likely to provoke "disorder", as well as measures "to ensure control of the press".

It also allows the interior ministry to place under house arrest anyone whose activities it deems a "danger for security or public order".

In recent weeks, the government has used the powers not just for counter-terrorism but also for a widely publicised "war on graft".

Ten businessmen are currently under house arrest on suspicion of corruption.