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Tunisia: former prime minister arrested

December 20, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Ali Laarayedh, Deputy Chairman of the Ennahda Movement and former Prime Minister of Tunisia in Tunis, Tunisia on September 26, 2022 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

A Tunisian judge has ordered the arrest of former Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh, Arabi21 has reported. According to lawyer Mukhtar Al-Jamie, the arrest took place after a number of hours in the presence of several of his legal colleagues.

Local media said that the counter-terrorism investigation team issued an arrest warrant against Laarayedh in the case regarding the sending of Tunisian jihadists to Syria over the past few years. Laarayedh has been interrogated on a number of occasions, along with others, including the Speaker of Parliament and the head of Ennahda Movement, Rached Ghannouchi.

The former prime minister told Arabi 21 previously that those who filed a complaint against him and Ghannouchi or whose testimonies were taken into consideration are people known for their great hostility towards the movement.

“The movement considers this systematic targeting of its vice president a desperate and blatant attempt by the coup authority and President Kais Saied to cover up the horrible failure in the farcical legislative elections, which were boycotted by more than 90 per cent of the voters,” said Ennahda in its first response to Laarayedh’s arrest. The movement added that it is calling for his release.

“The leaders of Ennahda have nothing to do with the deportation case and involving them in this case as well as other empty cases and directing fabricated charges against them are a means to put pressure on politicians who reject the coup,” added the movement.

In a message directed towards the people of Tunisia, it said: “Targeting Ennahda leaders and other opponents will not improve your lives, nor will it solve the problems of missing foodstuffs and skyrocketing prices. It is an attempt to distract and cover up failure.”

READ: Ennahda official says judiciary ‘will be fair’