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Ennahda Movement warns of a 'plot' to prepare public opinion for Noureddine Bhiri's death

Detained deputy leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda party, Noureddine Bhiri ​[AFP/Getty images
Tunisia’s Ennahda Noureddine Bhiri, 3 January 2022 [AFP/Getty images]

Ennahda Movement warned of a "plot" to prepare the Tunisian public opinion for the "death" of the Movement's Vice-President, Noureddine Bhiri, calling on authorities to release him and hold the parties inciting against him accountable.

In a statement issued on Monday, Ennahda Movement expressed its strong condemnation with regard to "the continuation of defamation and incitement campaigns against the Movement, its leaders and supporters, and tempting people to commit serious crimes which resulted in the burning of the Movement headquarters on 25 July 2021, and violently attacking its leaders and supporters, threatening their lives, in some cases."

The Ennahda Movement emphasised its right to prosecute "all persons involved in these accusations and lies, in addition to those that instigate them, irrespective of their positions and functions". It also calls on the judicial authorities to accelerate the adjudication of cases filed by the Movement against anyone who has deceitfully accused and incited against it, its leaders, and supporters, whether they were individuals, Facebook pages, closed groups on social media platforms or other different media.

The Movement indicated that the delay in adjudicating its cases filed against these parties "has urged the persons that used to abuse the Movement to go too far in their actions to the extent of abetment, the latest of which was against the parliament member and former Minister of Justice, Noureddine Bhiri. They tried to entangle him with the suicide of a Security Chief (Captain Mohsen Al-Aedili), in connection to the case of the entrustment of taxi licenses, which is a responsibility of an administrative committee in the governorate, and it has nothing to do with the parliament member, Noureddine Bhiri. The Movement called on the Ministry of Interior to clarify its position, expressing its fear that there is a plan in place to prepare the public opinion for the death of Noureddine Bhiri.

READ: 21 Tunisian bodies denounce police suppression of protesters

Al-Aedili was found "hanged" at his home on Sunday night, in a suspicious incident that occurred a few days after he was heard as a witness in cases relating to a suspicion of "involvement" of leaders from Ennahda Movement in the so-called "parallel security service", smuggling, money laundering and others, according to local media.

The Movement also renewed its demand to "immediately release Bhiri from his place of detention without judicial authorisation and to hold accountable the persons who defame and incite against him".

Bhiri's defence Committee recently confirmed that his health "has reached a severe risk, threatening of reaching the verge of non-return level", noting that the doctors supervising him have confirmed that they are not responsible for any further health emergencies that he may be exposed to, given his ongoing detention by the Tunisian authorities.

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