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Tunisia: Order of Lawyers calls to release Kilani

Abderrazak Kilani, a member of Noureddine Bhiri's defence team and a former head of the National Bar of Association [Arabi21]
Abderrazak Kilani, a member of Noureddine Bhiri's defence team and a former head of the National Bar of Association [Arabi21]

Abderrazak Kilani, a member of Noureddine Bhiri's defence team and a former head of the National Bar of Association – Defence Team.

The Tunisian Order of Lawyers has called on the authorities to release former Head of the National Bar of Association Abderrazak Kilani, who was arrested by a decision from the Military Court. Kilani is a member of the defence team for the detained leader of the Ennahda Movement, Noureddine Bhiri.

This came in a statement issued on Friday by the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, in which it renewed its refusal to adjudicate civilians before the military judiciary.

The Tunisian Order of Lawyers held: "The parties that ruled during the last decade politically responsible, by adherence to exceptional laws and orders that contradict basic rights and freedoms, which caused the exceptional situation the country is experiencing now."

READ: Kais Saied has been planning individual rule over seven months

In its statement, the Tunisian Order of Lawyers asserted its refusal of the issuance of a detention order against former Head of the National Bar of Association Kilani.

Kilani faces charges relating to: "Joining a group that may violate public comfort and attacking a public official with words and threats."

The detention of Kilani has sparked widespread condemnation among many legal professionals and public figures who consider it a scandal for Tunisia as well as a political issue, especially since Kilani is one of the opponents of President Kais Saied's coup.

Head of the Regional Branch of Lawyers in Tunisia Mohamed El-Hadfi asserted in a statement published on Thursday by Arabi21: "Lawyers have become clearly targeted. The real reason behind the detention of the former head of the National Bar of Association, Abderrazak Kilani, is basically a political reason."

Is Tunisia's president Kais Saied like Louis XIV, King of France? - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Is Tunisia's president Kais Saied like Louis XIV, King of France? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

El-Hadfi revealed: "The phenomenon of detention of lawyers and imprisonment of them has become recurrent, and it is a dangerous indicator for the freedom of defence, the judiciary and the citizen. He confirmed that we, as lawyers, are ready for all possibilities."

Likewise, lawyer and member of the defence committee, Abderraouf Ayadi, strongly condemned the decision by the military judiciary to imprison Kilani.

"Issuing a detention order against a former head and a symbol of the revolution carries several meanings and messages. Where the authority aims basically to subdue the lawyers and make them subjected to its will," Ayadi shared in an exclusive statement to Arabi21. "We will resort to a struggle against the return of dictatorship, and we will never subjugate to authority."

Tunisia has witnessed a political crisis since 25 July, when Saied imposed what he called "exceptional measures", which included suspending the parliament, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, dismissing the prime minister and appointing a new government.

The majority of political and civil forces in Tunisia reject these measures and consider them a coup against the constitution and the country's democracy.

READ: Tunisian politicians and activists express solidarity with ex-Head of National Bar of Association

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