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Tunisia: Club of Madrid calls on Saied to release Hamadi Jebali

Former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali in Tunis, Tunisia on 29 August 2019 [Nacer Talel/Anadolu Agency]
Former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali in Tunis, Tunisia on 29 August 2019 [Nacer Talel/Anadolu Agency]

The Club of Madrid (the largest forum in the world for former heads of state and government), on Sunday 26 June 2022, demanded that the Tunisian authorities, especially the President of the Republic, Kais Saied, to "respect the essence of democratic values, the judicial system, the rule of law and to release Hamadi Jebali and respect his rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the Constitution of the country for all Tunisians."

In its issued statement which was published on its Facebook page, the Club confirmed that "political tensions and concerns related to human rights in Tunisia have escalated since July 2021, when Saied imposed exceptional measures, including dissolving the parliament and the Supreme Judicial Council and holding early legislative elections. The Club considered that the "measures are seen as growing authoritarianism."

The Club pointed out that "Jebali, who assumed the head of government from December 2011 to February 2013 and who is a member of the Club of Madrid, was urgently transferred to the intensive care unit of the Habib Thameur Hospital in Tunis" and that "his health condition is seriously deteriorating". The Club pointed out that "this happened after he was arrested last Thursday by Tunisian security forces for the second time in less than two months, on suspicion of money laundering", considering that this "was done without an immediate official comment".

The Club added that Jebali "started a hunger strike during his detention"; it quoted Jebali as he confirmed that "the arrest motive is political and not linked to money laundering", stressing that this "poses a threat to his health".

READ: Tunisia's Ennahda says president responsible for safety of ex-premier

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