Tunisian authorities places ban on planned nationwide protest by the country’s main opposition coalition

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Tunisian authorities have banned the country’s main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front (NSF), from holding a nationwide protest on Sunday, March 5.

The National Salvation Front had planned to protest the recent arrests of President Kais Saied’s critics, and Tunisia’s national trade union federation has also planned a demonstration.

The government of the North African country announced on Thursday that the upcoming demonstrations will not take place because the NSF’s request was denied.

In a statement, Tunis Governor Kamel Feki said the NSF’s request to hold a march on Sunday was denied because some of its leaders are suspected of plotting against state security.

The NSF had called the protest on Sunday in response to “political arrests and violations of public and individual freedoms.”

According to the report, approximately 20 critics and opponents of President Kais Saied have been arrested and detained in recent weeks.

According to the NSF, the arrests, which also include the owner of a major media outlet and a prominent businessman, represent the largest crackdown on Saied’s opponents since he seized most power in 2021.

Sadok Chourou and Habib Ellouz, members of the Islamist-leaning Ennahda Party, were also arrested, according to Tunisian media.

The arrests, according to Ennahda, the main group within the NSF’s former member of governing coalitions, were intended to “terrorize the opposition.”

The Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) has announced its own protest against Saied’s “one-man rule” for Saturday.