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Tunisia: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb Calls for Abolition of Anti-Terrorism Law

(Nov. 6, 2012) On October 28, 2012, the organization Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb issued a statement demanding that the ruling Al Nahda Islamic Party of Tunisia abolish Law 75-2003, on combating terrorism. Analysts considered such a statement by the organization an implicit threat to the current ruling party. (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb Calling for the Abolishment of the Tunisian Anti-Terror Law [in Arabic], AL MARGHAREBIA (Oct. 28, 2012).)

The statement came after the arrest of individuals affiliated with Islamist movements operating in <?Tunisia. It urges the current Tunisian government to refrain from arresting and detaining members of the Salafi Islamist movement. According to news reports, the regime of former Tunisian President Bin Ali used Law 75-2003 to suppress the Salafi movement and other Islamic political factions. (Id.) However, the Law is still enforced under the new regime.

Law 75-2003 defines the terms “terrorism” and “terrorist organization.” It sets forth acts considered to be terrorist activities. It also covers punishments imposed on individuals who carry out terrorist activities, as well as those who enable terrorist crimes. Further, the Law punishes individuals who receive any type of military training abroad with the purpose of committing an internal terrorist act. Finally, it combats the crime of money laundering and limits the methods of funding for non-governmental organizations. The Law was amended by Law 65-2009. (Law 75-2003 on Combating Terrorism and Money Laundering, Dec. 10, 2003, [in French], and the 2009 amendments [in English], International Bar Association Anti-Money Laundering Forum website [scroll down to find the links for the legislation].)