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Tunisia: Former anti-corruption chief under house arrest

August 21, 2021 at 2:05 pm

Lawyer and human rights defender Chawki Tabib, one of the contestants for the position of Tunisian Prime Minister gestures as he speaks in his office on December 4, 2013 in Tunis [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Chawki Tabib, former head of the Tunisian Anti-Corruption Authority (INLUCC), has confirmed via his Facebook page that he has been played under house arrest.

“The chief of a security unit that has been stationed since 10 PM Tunis time (9.30 GMT) in front of the door of my apartment, and informed me that the official in charge of running the Ministry of the Interior issued an order to place me under house arrest,” Tabib wrote.

Tabib considers this to be a clear violation of his rights guaranteed by law and the Constitution.

He added: “What concerns me at this moment is to send an initial message to my family and friends that there is no reason for you to be ashamed of your kinship or friendship with me, quite the contrary.”

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Tabib continued: “The second message goes to those who made this shameful and unjust decision against me. I will pursue you before justice in Tunisia and abroad and before the justice of heaven if I could not restore my right from you on this earth.”

On Friday, Tunisian President Kais Saied issued a presidential order to dismiss Anouar Ben Hassan, secretary-general of INLUCC, without giving reasons for the decision.

Local media reported that Reda Gharsalawi, who is in charge of running the Ministry of Interior, on Friday ordered the eviction of the headquarters of the National Anti-Corruption Authority of its employees amid security presence, accompanied by the governor of Tunis, Chadli Boualag.

The Ministry of Interior has not yet explained the reasons behind the evacuation of the headquarters of the constitutional commission.

At the end of July, the Tunisian judiciary opened an investigation into Chawki Tabib on suspicion of “forgery”.

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The commission was established in 2011 to succeed the Commission of Inquiry into Corruption and Bribery, which was immediately established after the revolution that toppled former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Tunisia has witnessed a severe political crisis since 25 July, when Saied decided to freeze Parliament and dismiss Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi as part of exceptional measures, justified by the deterioration of the economy and the failure to manage the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

The majority of parties, including the Ennahda Movement, rejected these decisions, considering the recent resolutions as a “coup against the Constitution“, while others backed this move as a way to correct the course of the revolution.