World

Tunisian parliament passes anti-terror law despite fears of rights violations

FILE - In this Monday, June 29, 2015 file photo, a hooded Tunisian police officer stands guard ahead of the visit of top security officials of Britain, France, Germany and Belgium at the scene of Friday's shooting attack in front of the Imperial Marhaba hotel in the Mediterranean resort of Sousse, Tunisa. Tunisia's parliament on Friday, July 24 voted overwhelmingly to pass the country’s new anti-terror law after a pair of devastating attacks against tourists, but critics fear the new legislation may endanger this North African nation’s hard won freedoms.  (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar, file)

FILE - In this Monday, June 29, 2015 file photo, a hooded Tunisian police officer stands guard ahead of the visit of top security officials of Britain, France, Germany and Belgium at the scene of Friday's shooting attack in front of the Imperial Marhaba hotel in the Mediterranean resort of Sousse, Tunisa. Tunisia's parliament on Friday, July 24 voted overwhelmingly to pass the country’s new anti-terror law after a pair of devastating attacks against tourists, but critics fear the new legislation may endanger this North African nation’s hard won freedoms. (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar, file)  (The Associated Press)

Tunisia's parliament has voted overwhelmingly to pass the country's new anti-terror law despite fears by rights groups that it could be abused.

In a late-night session Friday, 174 deputies voted for the legislation, 10 abstained and no one voted against it.

The law replaces earlier legislation from 2003 and is designed to facilitate efforts to combat terrorism.

Discussion over the law, especially whether it might open the way to rights abuses, stretched on for years but was given new impetus with a pair of devastating attacks on tourists in March at a Tunis museum and then last month a beach resort.

The sole country to emerge from the 2011 uprisings with a democracy, Tunisia has been targeted by militant groups.