Tunis governor refuses protest permit citing alleged plot

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A Tunisian opposition coalition said on Thursday it would hold a demonstration on Sunday despite being denied permission by the authorities who cited an alleged plot against state security by the group’s leaders.

Leaders of the National Salvation Front coalition are among prominent opponents of President Kais Saied arrested over the past month on charges that the opposition says are politically motivated.

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The governor of Tunis said in a statement that he was refusing permission for Sunday’s protest because of the charges against the National Salvation Front leaders.

The arrests, which also include other senior politicians, the owner of a major media outlet and a prominent businessman, represent the biggest crackdown on opponents of Saied since he seized most powers in 2021.

His opponents accuse him of a coup for shutting down the parliament, moving to rule by decree and writing a new constitution giving himself most powers that he passed in a referendum last year.

Saied has said his actions were legal and needed to save Tunisia from chaos, and he has promised to uphold rights and freedoms. Most protests since his seizure of powers have been permitted.

The powerful labour union UGTT is holding its own protest in the capital on Saturday.

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Tunisia’s Kais Saied rejects foreign interference after US concern over arrests

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