On November 15, after nearly two weeks of fervent critique and promises of public demonstration, the Interior Ministry stepped in to stay a polarized debate around a bill concerning the repression of abuses against armed forces. In an attempt to appease security unions backing the measure and civil society groups opposing it, Interior Minister Lotfi Brahem insisted before parliament’s General Legislation Commission on Wednesday that the Ministry is taking the concerns of all sides into consideration. Brahem proposed the creation of a joint committee to draft a new law that will protect security agents and their families « with consideration for human rights principles and in respect of constitutional provisions ». For now, the current controversial text remains in parliament for further examination.
The National Museum of the State Security System is one of several artistic works that Egyptian playwright-director Laila Soliman and Belgian actor-director Ruud Gielens have created together. The artists were approached by the organizers of Dream City to create a project for the fifth edition of the event (November 4-8). Soliman shared some time with Nawaat to talk about the creative process behind their creation, a glimpse into the unofficial narrative of the state security apparatus that operated under the Ben Ali regime.
The facts are clear. The trial concerning the assassination of Chokri Belaid has been deferred, not a single terrorist crime has been tried, and the attack in Sousse has exposed security and political failures. Four years after the Rouhia case, it seems that the more insecurity has grown, the more opaque the security institution has become.
In the minutes and hours following attack transpired the ungracious diffusion on Instagram and Twitter of victims lying lifeless between beach chairs and parasols; dramatized headlines announcing the “beach resort massacre” and innumerable variations recounting the scene … But after the initial shock of and Western media’s knee-jerk reaction to one of three attacks which occurred on June 26, mainstream news reports on terrorism in the country are relatively more substantial and worth contemplating than was the case several months ago.
With war waged against terrorism, questions of ethics and deontology have faded into the background. In the meantime, media treatment of the Bardo Attack is a textbook case of politicization that allows us to measure the ambiguity of relations between media and power. The trigger effect of security discourse has mobilized judiciary and police organs born and bred under a dictatorship that was immune to the threat of terrorism. To what extent can regulations contain this return to normalization?