Tunisia Bans Niqab in Public Institutions after Bombings
Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has banned the wearing of the niqab, the full face veil, in public institutions, citing security reasons, an unidentified official has told Reuters. “Chahed signed a government decree that bars any person with [a hidden] face from access to public headquarters, administrations [or] institutions for security reasons,” the source said. The decision follows a string of suicide bombings in Tunis in the past two weeks. A wanted radical detonated an explosive belt he was wearing in Tunis on Tuesday after being surrounded by police, with no other casualties reported. On June 27, two suicide bombers blew themselves up in separate attacks against police in the capital, killing one officer and wounding several people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks. In 2011, women were allowed to wear the hijab and niqab in Tunisia after a decades-long ban. The North African country has been battling extremist groups since an uprising overthrew autocratic leader Zine Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.