The row between the president of Tunisia and the judiciary has escalated with employees being prevented from entering the headquarters of the Supreme Judicial Council. The head of the council, Youssef Bouzacher, confirmed to EFM Radio that they turned up for work and found the doors to the building locked with chains.
"Today the council was closed," the head of the Tunisian Association of Young Judges, Mourad Masoudi, told Arabi 21. "Tomorrow the courts will be closed."
Masoudi added that all appropriate measure will be taken to deal with this new situation and that a communique will be issued shortly. This is expected to call for an open-ended general strike of judges and an extraordinary plenary session for them.
Many of Tunisia's judges have already announced their rejection of President Kais Saied's decision to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council. They vowed not to remain silent over what they describe as a dangerous assault on a major state institution.
Meanwhile, the head of the Association of Tunisian Judges, Anas Al-Hamaydi, announced the launch of consultations with its members to take the necessary steps to protect the judiciary and the sanctity of the courts. Speaking to a local radio station today, Al-Hamaydi said that some judges feel threatened after the president's "confrontational" remarks against the judiciary.