Police shut Al Jazeera TV's office in Tunisia amid political turmoil

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Supporters of Tunisian President Kais Saied chant slogans during a protest in front of the Parliament building, denouncing Rached Ghannouchi, Parliament Speaker and President of the Islamist Ennahda Movement.
Supporters of Tunisian President Kais Saied chant slogans during a protest in front of the Parliament building, denouncing Rached Ghannouchi, Parliament Speaker and President of the Islamist Ennahda Movement.
Khaled Nasraoui/picture alliance via Getty Images

Tunisian police on Monday closed the office of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera television in the capital Tunis, its bureau chief said, amid political turmoil in the North African country.

"Around 15 policemen, some in uniform others in civilian clothes, entered our offices and asked us to leave," Al Jazeera director in Tunis Lotfi Hajji told AFP.

He said the law enforcement officers gave no reason for the actions, but confiscated the keys to the premises and forced all staff to leave.

The move came a day after President Kais Saied ousted the prime minister and suspended parliament, following a day of street protests against the government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hajji said the police told Al Jazeera staff "we are following orders".

"What is happening is very dangerous, it is proof that freedom of the press is threatened. Today it is Al Jazeera, another day another media," Hajji said.

AFP contacted the interior minister for further details but no immediate explanations were given for the closure of the outlet's office.

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