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Tunisia: 820 people are charged with sending jihadists abroad, number is likely to rise

September 30, 2022 at 10:10 am

People including journalists gather to stage a protest against the detention of journalist Ghassen Ben Khelifa on the charge of “suspicion of terrorism” in Tunis, Tunisia on September 09, 2022. [Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency]

Some 820 people including politicians have been charged in the case of sending jihadists to Syria, a judicial official in Tunisia said yesterday.

The official spokesman of the Court of Appeal in the capital, Habib Tarkhani, added that the number is likely to increase.

The president of the Ennahda Movement, Rached Ghannouchi, his deputy and former Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh, and other MPs from Ennahda have been investigated in the case. They have all since been released pending the completion of further investigations.

However, the Public Prosecutor appealed the judge’s decision to release them.

In 2017, the government estimated that around 3,000 Tunisians had travelled to fight in conflict areas abroad, most heading to Syria. International reports put the number higher.

At that time, the Ministry of the Interior said that about 800 people had returned to Tunisia.

The Anti-Terrorism and Anti-Money-Laundering Act, which Tunisia issued in 2015 to meet European standards, allows the prosecution in Tunisia of those involved in terrorist acts abroad.

READ: Tunisia: security officers demand release of eight policemen