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Tunisia: lawyers prevented from attending questioning of Ennahda officials

Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda Movement and Speaker of the dissolved Tunisian Parliament is seen during an exclusive interview in Tunis, Tunisia on April 29, 2022. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda Movement in Tunis, Tunisia on April 29, 2022. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]

The lawyers of Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi and his deputy Ali Larayedh have been prevented from attending their interrogation by the security services in Tunisia, Anadolu has reported.

According to senior lawyer Abdul Razzaq Al-Kilani on Monday, several lawyers from the defence team were banned from attending the sessions when the security services asked them to prove that they had permission to be there. The move followed Ghannouchi and Larayedh being summoned on Sunday to attend for questioning about terrorism issues.

According to Arabi 21, permission to attend such a session can only be given by the chief judge in the hearing. "This measure is an insult to the lawyers and the legal profession," said Kilani.

Ghannouchi and Larayedh appeared before the anti-terror unit on Monday to answer claims about sending Tunisians to "hotspots" overseas, explained the political adviser to Ennahda's leader, Riadh Chaibi. The movement said on Sunday that such claims are part of the efforts by the "coup" authorities to "distort the reputation" of the opposition.

Tunisia has been in a deep political crisis since last year, when President Kais Saied ousted the government and dissolved the parliament. While Saied insists that his measures were meant to "save" the country, critics have accused him of orchestrating a coup against the constitution.

READ: Tunisia: Ennahda leaders summoned for questioning over 'deployment to hotbeds' case

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