Tunisia opposition figure decries travel ban

Tunisia opposition figure decries travel ban
The leader of Tunisia's opposition Afek Tounes party said he has been barred from leaving the country
2 min read
16 November, 2022
Afek Tounes has been a principal opponent of President Kais Saied [Getty/archive]

The leader of a Tunisian opposition party and prominent critic of President Kais Saied announced Wednesday he had been barred from leaving the country, without any prior notice.

"This morning at Tunis-Carthage airport, I was prevented from leaving Tunisian territory without having been notified beforehand of any judicial decision," Fadhel Abdelkefi, head of the centre-right Afek Tounes party, wrote on Twitter.

A statement from the party called the move against the former development minister "a violation of basic and constitutional freedoms".

"This illegal measure is further proof of the growth of political domination and the accelerated deviation of President Kais Saied's regime towards dictatorship," the statement read.

Afek Tounes has been a principal opponent of Saied, whose dramatic power grab in July last year prompted accusations he was seeking to restore an autocracy in Tunisia, a decade after a revolution that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

Afek Tounes said Abdelkefi's travel ban was "repressive," showing that "state institutions are being instrumentalised to suppress the opposition and target political figures."

The interior ministry told AFP it was not aware of the case.

Opposition parties and civil society activists have accused Tunisia's security services of resorting to methods reminiscent of those of former dictator Ben Ali.