Tunisia travel ban continues despite gov’t repeal, says official

Tunisian parliamentarian Mabrouk Korchid said yesterday that the government’s ban on travel was “still in effect,” despite a recent presidential announcement lifting the measure.

“A friend of mine was travelling yesterday but he was suspended for not possessing a written decision about his travel purpose,” Korchid said on Facebook.

“The ban is still in effect at the Tunis-Carthage airport, despite the recent presidential declaration,” he reiterated.

On Friday, the Tunsian presidency said it would allow international travel for all citizens “unless they are subject to summons, imprisonment, or search,” noting that the decision was made following discussions between President Kais Saied and his Interior Minister, Reda Gharslawi.

Saied explained that the move was taken “in full respect of the law, and the preservation of precautionary measures by travellers.”

READ: Tunisia announces reopening of border crossings with Libya

On 25 July, Tunisian President Kais Saied cited Article 80 of the constitution to dismiss Prime Minister Hicham Mechichi, freeze the work of parliament for 30 days, lift the immunity of ministers, and appoint himself as head of the executive authority until the formation of a new government.

This comes after violent protests broke out in several Tunisian cities criticising the government’s handling of the economy and the coronavirus. Demonstrators had called for parliament to be dissolved.

The majority of the country’s political parties slammed the move as a “coup against the constitution” and the achievements of the 2011 revolution.

To date, Saied has not appointed a prime minister but has imposed travel bans on former officials he claims are involved in corruption. The move has been heavily criticised by local trade unions and both Tunisian and international rights groups.

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