Tunisia extends state of emergency indefinitely

AFP , Wednesday 27 Jul 2011

Tunisia's interim president Fouad Mebezaa extends state of emergency indefinitely

Tunisia's interim president has signed an order to indefinitely extend the state of emergency in place since President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's toppling, said a notice Tuesday in the government gazette.

Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia after the fall of his government on January 14 following a massive popular uprising.

The state of emergency prolonged by president Fouad Mebezaa is designed to block all public gatherings and gives the police and army authority to shoot anyone who refuses to obey orders.

Islam's holy month of Ramadan is scheduled to start early August.

Campaigns for constituent elections, where Tunisians will pick delegates charged with drafting a new constitution, are also set to kick off soon, with the vote scheduled for October 23.

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