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Tunisia Ennahda leader warns of plot to assassinate Ghannouchi, Larayedh in prison

September 23, 2022 at 3:41 pm

Rached Ghannouchi, head of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party, in Sfax on 5 June 2022 [HOUSSEM ZOUARI/AFP/Getty Images]

A leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement and former Foreign Minister, Rafic Abdel Salam, revealed a plan to assassinate the Movement’s leader, Rached Ghannouchi, and his deputy, Ali Larayedh, in prison, calling on local and international human rights organisations to open a serious investigation into this matter and to hold those responsible accountable.

Abdel Salam added, in a post on Facebook, that the plot to assassinate Ghannouchi and Larayedh had been planned by detaining them in the same detention centres with terrorist elements affiliated with Ansar Al-Sharia group, which Larayedh had classified as a terrorist organisation when he was Interior Minister and then a Prime Minister.

Ghannouchi and Larayedh are facing judicial investigations into their involvement in sending Tunisians to fight in Iraq and Syria.

Abdel Salam said the case against Ennahda leaders was brought by Fatima Al-Masadi, a lawmaker in the dissolved parliament, in coordination with the Committee for the Defence of Chokri Belaid, before being picked up by the Public Prosecution Office with direct intervention from the Minister of Justice.

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“This means nothing but giving an opportunity to the Ansar Al-Sharia, the terrorist group which is very involved in political assassinations, and which is especially hostile to Ennahda, to liquidate Ghannouchi and Larayedh,” he said.

Abdel Salam said the investigative judge who had realised the scheme, took the correct decision according to his professional and moral conscience, and released Ghannouchi, Larayedh and others.

The Ennahda leader did not give details about the source of his allegations.

On Thursday, the investigative judge at the Judicial Complex for Combating Terrorism in Tunisia, decided to release Larayedh and postpone the hearing session in the case.

Earlier on Wednesday, the investigative judge also decided to release Ghannouchi and postpone the hearing session to 28 November.