Tunisia women wearing niqab ‘which covers the entire face apart from the eyes’ banned in government offices

Citing security reasons, the Tunisian prime minister, Youssef Chahed, banned the use of the niqab, which covers the entire face, apart from the eyes, in government offices.

The order comes after three suicide bombings in the capital, Tunisia, in the space of a week. A group of rights urged the government to ensure that the ban was temporary, since some Muslim women wear the niqab as an interpretation of modest dress and as a symbol of religious faith.

The former ruler of Tunisia, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, banned the niqab and hijab in state buildings, but made a return after he was expelled in 2011.

The president’s office issued a circular on Friday “prohibiting access to public administrations and institutions to anyone with a covered face … for security reasons.”

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