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Detained Tunisia lawmaker goes on hunger strike

Tunisian blogger Yassine Ayari on April 17, 2015 in Tunis [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]
Tunisian blogger Yassine Ayari on April 17, 2015 in Tunis [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]

Tunisian Member of Parliament, Yassine Ayari, yesterday launched a hunger strike in Mornaguia Prison where he is serving a two-month sentence for criticising the president.

The Amal Movement to which Ayari belongs said in a statement on social media that the MP began his strike because of the persecution that he has been subjected to over the previous days, following social media posts in which he criticised the president

On 30 July, security forces arrested Ayari after he accused President Kais Saied of an unconstitutional power grab. This came days after Saied cited Article 80 of the constitution to dismiss Prime Minister Hicham Mechichi, freeze the work of parliament for 30 days, lift the immunity of ministers, and appoint himself as head of the executive authority until the formation of a new government.

At the time, Ayari described the ongoing events in Tunisia as a "coup against the constitution."

"[Saied] made a constitution by himself and he is enforcing it with guns," he wrote on Facebook days before his arrest.

A military court sentenced him to two months in jail.

"Ayari also calls to immediately drop all charges against him and believes there is a clear intention to prolong his imprisonment indefinitely," the Amal Movement statement said.

READ: Tunisia: lawyers demand immediate release of colleague

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