Tunisian gov bans the wearing of niqab in public

Tunisia bans niqab. Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed on Friday announced the ban on the use of the niqab or full veil in public in Tunisia administrations “for security reasons,” local press reported.

Chahed signed a circular of “immediate execution” to prohibit “access to administrations and public institutions of anyone who covers his face.”

The niqab, an outfit that was strictly forbidden during the two decades of the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who carried out a harsh campaign of repression against the Islamists, and that resurfaced again after the so-called “Jasmine Revolution” in 2011.

This ban on niqab comes a week after the double suicide attack perpetrated in the capital and claimed by the jihadist organization Islamic State (ISIS), which caused the death of two people and injured seven others.

Last Tuesday, members of the anti-terrorism brigade killed the alleged mastermind of this attack, Ayman Smiri, a 23-year-old man from the capital, described by the authorities as a “very active and dangerous” leader.

The president of the country, Beji Caid Essebsi, announced last April the extension for one more month of the state of emergency imposed in Tunisia, which began after the jihadist attack that ended the life of 12 presidential guards in 2015 in the center of the capital.

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Two previous attacks that same year, in the capital and in the spa town of Sousa, also ended with the lives of 60 foreign tourists.

The attacks, which sank tourism, one of the main industries of a country plunged into a serious economic crisis, were also claimed by a local Salafist branch linked to the Islamic State.

Tunisia is the fourth country in the world in number of radicals who have joined the terrorist group, only surpassed by Russia, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The latest attacks have occurred just four months before presidential and legislative elections that are considered crucial for the future of the country.

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