Creating new perspectives since 2009

Tunisia: Ennahda confirms Ghannouchi summoned for questioning again

February 21, 2023 at 10:59 am

Tunisia’s Ennahdha Islamist party leader Rached Ghannouchi [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Tunisia’s Ennahda has confirmed that the head of the movement, Rached Ghannouchi, was summoned to appear before the security authorities today.

“The [former] Speaker of Parliament, Rached Ghannouchi, has been asked to appear for questioning on a new and flimsy case after he signed the request to appear before the Investigation Authority of the National Guard at the Aouina police station in the capital, Tunis, ” explained spokesman Imed Khemiri at a press conference. “The content and purpose of the complaint are not clear.”

According to Khemiri, “There is no reason to summon Ghannouchi again except this policy in which the coup authority deals in the political scene, not only with the leaders of Ennahda but also with politicians, media individuals and judges.”

However, it has been reported that the latest Ghannouchi summons is for a case that would have been thrown out if the judiciary and the prosecution service were independent. It is based on a police officer claiming that he has a recording of a conversation between Ghannouchi and the leadership of the banned Ansar Al-Sharia terrorist group. The policeman claims that he handed this recording to his superiors without keeping a copy, and that they destroyed it to protect the veteran politician. His commanding officers have rejected the claim and deny receiving any recording from him.

Rached Ghannouchi: briefing paper on summonses since March 2022

It is alleged that in the absence of any evidence, the prosecutors have been ordered by the minister of justice to open a new case and call Ghannouchi in for questioning. There is a strong probability that the lead prosecutor, for fear of being sacked by the executive authorities, may detain Ghannouchi until the end of the investigation, which could mean a few days or even a few months behind bars.

Rached Ghannouchi and Ennahda have been targeted by the Tunisian authorities for months. Details can be found here.

At the time of writing, the Tunisian authorities had not issued any comment on this issue.