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Human Rights Watch: No safety for anyone who criticises Kais Saied

Tunisia's President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on 15 December 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]

On Monday, 14 March, 2022, Human Rights Watch considered that "the imprisonment of the former head of the National Bar of Association, Abderrazak Kilani, due to an altercation with security agents during which he criticised President Kais Saied, is a new disquieting step in confiscation of civil freedoms since Saied's taking over the powers on 25 July, 2021."

Human Rights Watch confirmed in its statement published on its website that "the imprisonment of Kilani, along with placing dozens of critics under house arrest or preventing them from travelling, is a shocking message confirms that there is no safety for anyone who criticises President Saied's taking over of power."

Human Rights Watch added that "It is bad enough for the Tunisian authorities to detain a prominent lawyer because he tried to persuade the police to allow him to see his legal client, the Member of Parliament and member of the Ennahda Movement, Noureddine Bhiri." It stressed that "using the military judiciary to target Kilani intensifies the injustice."

READ: Tunisia: party calls for early legislative election to ensure stability 

The Organisation condemned, "the prosecutions over the past years by the Tunisian authorities against civilians and MPs in military courts under the Code of Military Justice, such as the trial of Yassine Ayari, Seifeddine Makhlouf and Nidal Saudi on charges relating to freedom of expression and insulting the President and the army."

The Organisation affirmed that "the trial of civilians before the military courts is considered a violation to the right to a fair trial and the guarantee of due process," reminding that the international human rights law "prohibits governments from using military courts to prosecute civilians, when civilian courts can still operate."

Tunisia's president Kais Saied is bleeding the country - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Tunisia's president Kais Saied is bleeding the country – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

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