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Tunisia: two deputies critical of President Saïed arrested

2021-08-01T13:47:06.221Z

Two Tunisian deputies of the Islamo-nationalist movement Al Karama, which opposed the coup by President Kais Saied and the suspension of ...



Two Tunisian deputies of the Islamo-nationalist movement Al Karama, which opposed the coup by President Kais Saied and the suspension of Parliament, have been arrested, their party leader announced on Sunday (August 1st).

Read also: Tunisia: President Saïed challenges the parties

These two parliamentarians, Maher Zid and Mohamed Affes, are in pre-trial detention as part of a "

military justice investigation

", explained on Facebook Seifeddine Makhlouf, the leader of this allied formation of Ennahdha, the first party of the Assembly, also of Islamist inspiration.

According to Seifeddine Makhlouf, a lawyer very hostile to President Saied, he and the two deputies are being prosecuted in a case linked to an altercation that occurred in March at Tunis airport.

They are suspected of having insulted border police officers who had banned a woman from traveling.

Contacted by AFP, the prosecution was unreachable.

No details of military justice have been published.

The wife of Mohamed Affes confirmed, late Saturday evening, the arrest of the deputy, a former ultra-conservative imam, in a video on social networks.

Former investigative journalist and blogger, Maher Zid had already been sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the former Tunisian president, Béji Caïd Essebsi.

On July 25, President Saied invoked the Constitution to grant himself full powers and suspend Parliament, in a Tunisia paralyzed by months of political blockages and bruised by a catastrophic rebound from the Covid-19 epidemic.

He also lifted the parliamentary immunity of deputies.

These measures have been denounced as a "

coup

" by the Al Karama movement.

Friday, an independent deputy, Yassine Ayari, who also denounced a "

military coup

", was arrested under a two-month prison sentence, handed down at the end of 2018, for having criticized the army, according to justice Tunisian military.

This arrest aroused the concern of NGOs.

Human Rights Watch notably saw it as confirmation of "

fears that President Saied might use his extraordinary powers against his opponents."

"

Faced with the concerns of the international community to see Tunisia, cradle of the Arab Spring, regress towards authoritarianism, President Saied assured Friday "to

hate the dictatorship

".

There is "

no fear

" to be had regarding freedoms and rights in Tunisia, he said.

According to him, the arrests concern only people already prosecuted by justice.

On Saturday, the United States urged Tunisia to quickly resume "

the path of democracy

."

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-08-01

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