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Tunisia: former MP detained over deportations to ‘hotbeds of terrorism’

September 15, 2022 at 12:24 pm

Security forces take measures outside the courthouse in capital Tunis, Tunisia on July 19, 2022 [Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency]

The Tunisian security authorities detained a former MP on Wednesday pending investigations into his alleged involvement in “deportations to hotbeds of tension and terrorism,” Mosaique FM has reported.

Habib Ellouze is the head of the Association for Advocacy and Reform and was affiliated with the Islamist Ennahda Movement between 2011 and 2014. He was arrested in the city of Sfax in the south of Tunisia by the National Unit of Terrorism Crimes.

The Tunisian authorities did not issue any immediate comment on Ellouze’s detention. However, according to the radio station, investigations have been opened against “126 people” on suspicion of involvement in such deportations. Those alleged to have been involved include “politicians, former and current security cadres, imams, lawyers and people who assumed responsibilities in charitable societies, as well as some businessmen.”

According to local media sources, those already arrested include former security cadres such as Fathi Al-Baladi, Abdelkarim Al-Obeidi, Fathi Boussaida, businessman Mohamed Frikha, former MP Reda Al-Jawadi and Sheikh Al-Bashir Belhassan.

On Sunday, the National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists announced the release of journalist Ghassan Ben Khalifa after five days of detention, pending an investigation by the “anti-terrorism” judiciary.

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