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Protests by Tunisians call for independence of the judiciary

February 14, 2022 at 5:15 pm

Hundreds take part in a protest against dissolving the Supreme Judiciary Council by President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia, February 13, 2022. [Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency]

On Sunday, hundreds of Tunisians demonstrated in the capital, Tunis, in support of the independence of the judiciary, and in rejection to the decisions of President Kais Saied, which were announced on 25 July 2021.

According to the Anadolu Agency correspondent, the protesters raised slogans that read “constitution, freedom, and national dignity”, “down with the coup”, “save democracy”, “loyal to the blood of the martyrs” and “the judiciary is independent”. The demonstration was conducted after a call by the “Citizens Against the Coup” initiative.

On Saturday, the Tunisian Presidency announced that Saied had signed a decree establishing the Interim Supreme Judicial Council; this came after he announced, a few days ago, that the current Council became an entity from the past.

READ: Tunisia’s president approves new temporary Supreme Judiciary Council

The details of the decree published in the official newspaper, on Sunday, revealed that it includes a text that bans judges’ strike, and another one that grants the President “the right to request a dismissal of every judge who violates his professional duties”.

The Tunisian Presidency said, in a statement published on its official Facebook page, that Saied sealed the decree relating to the creation of the Interim Supreme Judicial Council, which followed his announcement, a few days ago, that the current Council became an entity from the past, despite the widespread local and international rejection of his decision to dissolve the highest judicial body in the country.

Tunisia has witnessed a severe political crisis since 25 July 2021, when President Saied imposed “exceptional measures”, including suspending the Parliament, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, dismissing the government and appointing a new one.