Portuguese / Spanish / English

Tunisia: president intends to dismiss 400 judges after referendum

Judges and lawyers gather to protest President of Tunisia, Kais Saied's decision to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council in front of Palais de Justice in Tunis, Tunisia on 10 February 2022 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Judges and lawyers gather to protest President of Tunisia, Kais Saied's decision to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council in front of Palais de Justice in Tunis, Tunisia on 10 February 2022 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

A judge in Tunisia has revealed that a new list is being prepared of more than 400 of his colleagues to be dismissed after 25 July, coinciding with the referendum on the new constitution, Arabi21 has reported.

"The judges are determined to defend their just cause," explained Murad Al-Masoudi. "They are steady in their defence of the judicial authority, and note that the executive authority is in a critical situation and has no way out apart from sitting at the negotiating table."

The head of the Association of Young Judges made his comment as the judges continue to be on strike three weeks after President Kais Saied decided to dismiss 57 of them. Saied's move followed allegations of corruption, the concealment of corrupt people and disrupting the prosecution of terrorist suspects.

Those affected by the dismissal decision included prominent judges such as Youssef Bouzakher, the former head of the Supreme Judicial Council that was dissolved by Saied, as well as the former head of the Court of Cassation, Taieb Rached, and the former Public Prosecutor Bachir Akremi. Al-Masoudi himself was implicated, as was the judge counsellor at the Court of Appeal in Tunis.

READ: Tunisian judges extend strike to protest president's policies

The judges being dismissed, said Saied, are charged with "assisting a suspect person on terrorism charges, granting him Tunisian citizenship, complicity in what is known as the 'secret service' and association with political parties," as well as "financial corruption, bribery, illicit enrichment and moral corruption."

The Coordination of Judicial Structures decided on Saturday to extend the strike to all Tunisian courts for another week and to specify a day of rage against Saied's measures. The date of this will be announced later.

In previous statements, Al-Masoudi said that no charges had been brought against the judges included in the list. He stressed that with the dismissal decision the president has targeted the rest of the direct judges by pressuring them in order to achieve his personal ambitions and revenge against his political opponents.

He pointed out that the dismissed judges are the same judges who refused to issue prison sentences against MPs and to accuse people without real evidence to go on.

Categories
AfricaNewsTunisia
Show Comments
Writing Palestine - Celebrating the tenth year of the Palestine Book Awards - Buy your copy of the book now
Show Comments