In a now-signature move, the government of Tunisia on 16 May again extended the state of emergency that has been in place since a series of deadly attacks carried out by Islamic State (IS) in 2015.
The Los Angeles Times explains that Tunisia’s emergency law “gives the government stepped-up powers to deal with suspected terrorists but also curtails to a degree the rights of ordinary citizens”, such as freedom of assembly.
For many Tunisians, the Times notes, the state of emergency “harks back to days when authorities acted with impunity to quell any dissent”.
In Tunisia and beyond, of course, counter-terrorism has long been a convenient excuse for dismantling basic freedoms.
Take the United States, for example, where the war on terror has done wonders in definitively obliterating all sorts of liberties - from privacy to freedom of the press to the right to exist as an Arab-American without being spied on by law enforcement and otherwise have one’s existence criminalised.