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Tunisia: President Extends the State of Emergency

(May 8, 2012) On May 5, 2012, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki extended the execution of the State of Emergency Law throughout the country until July 2012. The previous extension occurred on March 31, 2012, and the latest action marks the fifth executive extension instituted in the past 14 months. Marzouki issued the decree after holding an in-depth discussion and consultation on the action with the Chief of the Constituent Assembly.

Under a state of emergency, law enforcement and army personnel have the authority to shoot instigators of public disorder. The initial state of emergency was declared in January 2011, after former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia.

According to news reports, prolonging the state of emergency is a response to protests, strikes, and the lack of security plaguing the country. Tunisian authorities asserted that the existence of a state of emergency will not affect the personal and public liberties of the Tunisian people. (Extending the Emergency Law Until July [in Arabic], FRANCE 24 (May 5, 2012).)