Citing security reasons, Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has banned the wearing 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, Tunis, in the space of a week. One rights group urged the government to ensure the ban was temporary as the niqab is worn by some Muslim women as an interpretation of modest dress and as a symbol of religious faith.
Tunisia’s long-time ruler Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali banned the niqab and hijab in state buildings, but they made a return after he was ousted in 2011.
The President’s office issued a circular on Friday “banning access to public administrations and institutions to anyone with their face covered… for security reasons”.