The International Crisis Group, administered by the Tunisian government, yesterday froze the activities of 157 NGOs from a total of 18,000 working in the country.
Government Spokesman Nidal Ourfali said in a statement: “This is a decision related to security reasons.”
Ourfali stressed that all cases regarding the frozen NGOs are subject to appeal by the judiciary, but within the framework of law.
The NGOs were frozen, the statement said, “to guarantee the success of the transitional stage and to afford an appropriate atmosphere for the success of the elections.”
The statement did not disclose the names of the NGOs affected, or any details about them. The statement also did not give many details about the decision itself.
The International Crisis Group was formed by the Tunisian government last month, after the killing of 15 Tunisian troops by extremist Islamists in the west of the country. The group consists of defence and interior ministers and is headed by the Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.
Recently, the Tunisian Constitutional Assembly approved October 26 for the parliamentary elections and November 23 for the first round of presidential elections.