Tunisia radical Islamist party banned for one month

AFP , Tuesday 6 Jun 2017

Tunisian judicial authorities on Tuesday slapped a one-month ban on radical Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir, notably for incitement to hatred, the prosecution said.

"The activities of the party have been suspended for a month from today," said prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti.

The decision was taken because of the party's "incitement to hatred and its calls to put in place a caliphate", said Sliti.

AFP was unable to immediately reach Hizb ut-Tahrir for comment.

It is the second time that the radical Islamist party has been suspended from political activity at the request of the authorities.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is known for focusing on unifying Muslims into a caliphate and is already banned in several countries.

In August 2016, the party successfully overturned a decision by a civil judge to ban it, and has denounced what it says is "police harassment" in Tunisia.

The Tunisian branch of the pan-Islamic movement appeared in the 1980s but it remained on a list of banned organisations until after the 2011 overthrow of longtime strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The party is frequently accused of causing public disturbances with its rallies and had its annual congress cancelled in June for "security reasons".

"This is a party that does not recognise the civilian character of the state," said Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub.

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