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Tunisian authorities expel Moroccan Prince without explanation

Prince Hicham of Morocco (Quds Press)

The Tunisian police have deported Prince Moulay Hicham, the cousin of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, out of Tunisian territories apparently without any explanation.

According to news reports, security forces in civilian clothes broke into the swimming pool of Mövenpick Hotel in the capital Tunis on Friday in the evening, where Prince Hicham, the cousin of King Mohammed VI, was staying to deliver a lecture entitled "The Arab Spring has not yet said its Final Word."

The security forces then accompanied the Moroccan Prince to the police station, where the Tunisian authorities deported the Prince to Paris on an Air France plane.

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Prince Hicham asked for a written document justifying his expulsion from Tunisia. However, the Tunisian authorities refused to do so and only told him through the airport microphone that he had committed nothing wrong.

Prince Hicham has intended to chair a seminar on Sunday, organised by Stanford University about managing security challenges in Morocco, Egypt and Yemen.

Prince Hicham (born 4 March 1964) is the grandson of Mohamed V, the first king of the Kingdom of Morocco after its independence from France. His father is Prince Moulay Abdullah who was the personal representative of King Hassan II.

Prince Hicham is a social activist. He has published articles in several newspapers about political issues. He heads the Prince Hicham Foundation, which is active in the social field in North Africa and the Middle East. He is also one of the Morocco's public figures who enjoy an international acclaim. He is considered by several media outlets to be one of the democratic reform advocates.

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He published his controversial book The Rejected Prince in 2014, which talks about his father and his uncle King Hassan II and his cousin Mohammed VI. In 2015, the book was translated into Arabic under the title "Biography of a Banished Prince."

While the Tunisian authorities would not confirm the reason for expelling the Moroccan Prince Moulay Hicham, media sources speculated that the real reason is pressure from the UAE, through influential figures in Carthage Palace, in response of Hicham's intention to deliver another lecture in Doha the capital of Qatar on Tuesday about "The Democratic Transition in the Arab Maghreb" which is organised by the Brookings Institution, an American think tank.

Read More: UAE expels Moroccan Prince over criticism of Gulf State monarchies

The Moroccan Prince was planning to participate in an international forum on democratic transition in the 'Arab Maghreb: Tunisia as an example', which was organised by the American Stanford University, California.

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