Newspaper article International New York Times

Tunisia Ends State of Emergency but Affirms Vigilance

Newspaper article International New York Times

Tunisia Ends State of Emergency but Affirms Vigilance

Article excerpt

Special powers had been in place since the 2011 uprising that set off the Arab Spring, and Thursday's move was a sign of growing political confidence.

President Moncef Marzouki of Tunisia has lifted a state of emergency that had been in force since the 2011 uprising, in a sign of growing confidence in the country since political accords were reached in December.

The imposition of the state of emergency was one of the last acts of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who ordered it hours before he fled the country on Jan. 14, 2011. The decree gave the army and the police extra powers, including the ability to outlaw gatherings of more than three people and to impose curfews. The 2011 demonstrations in Tunisia set off the Arab Spring uprisings across the region.

In practice, the restrictions were widely disregarded by Tunisians in the three years after Mr. Ben Ali's overthrow. Demonstrations and rallies have taken place unimpeded, including a tented camp set up for months outside the Parliament building. …

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