[JURIST] The European Union Foreign Ministers [official website] on Monday agreed to several measures [text, PDF; materials] to provide assistance to Tunisia in the wake of the last month’s attack that killed 38. The measures, agreed upon at a meeting in Brussels [meeting agenda] with Tunisian Prime Minster Habib Essid [IBTimes profile], contemplate sending military advisers to Tunisia to train security forces on protecting key tourist sites. Further, the measures seek to assist economically by, among other things, raising the quota of olive oil Tunisia can sell in the EU. The agreement comes in the wake of Seifeddine Rezgui Yacoubi’s attack [BBC report] on a Tunisian beach resort in June, which killed 38 mostly-Europeans, and injured another 39. At the meeting, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond [official profile] said, “[t]he EU is working up a substantial package of economic and political support to show that we stand with the Tunisian people as they resist this attempt by [the Islamic State] to undermine their new democracy and their economy.”
Many countries have recently drafted counter-terrorism laws in response to terrorist groups like the Islamic State. Many human rights organizations, however, have expressed concern over such legislation, warning that it sometimes sacrifices human rights [JURIST report] in the fight against terrorism, as abridging those rights is politically convenient. Earlier this month, a government minister of Tunisia, Kamel Jendoubi, announced [JURIST report] an increase of 100,000 security personnel to help protect the country from future terrorist attacks, prompting Human Rights Watch to warn about the potentially inhibiting affect such security increases can have. In April, a HRW analysis of the Tunisian government’s draft counter-terrorism law suggested [JURIST report] that the law as drafted could potentially lead to serious human rights abuses, including permitting extended incommunicado detention, weakening due process guarantees for people charged with terrorism offenses and allowing the death penalty for anyone convicted of a terrorist attack resulting in death.