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Tunisia's Ennahda Party leader Ghannouchi arrested by security forces for interrogation

Tunisian authorities have yet to comment on arrest of Rached Ghannouchi

April 17, 2023 at 11:29 pm

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

Tunisian security forces late Monday arrested Ennahda Party leader Rached Ghannouchi and took him in for interrogation at a National Guard building in the capital Tunis.

In a statement on Facebook, senior Ennahda Party official and former Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem said that security forces raided Ghannouchi’s home and took him to the El-Aouina National Guard base, in northern Tunis.

Tunisian authorities have yet to comment on the arrest.

On 21 February, Ghannouchi appeared before the Judicial Pole of Counter-Terrorism in Tunis to answer accusations of incitement against security forces, but he was set free after giving testimony.

Ghannouchi, a former parliament speaker, earlier said that the accusations against him “lack any real evidence” and seek to divert public attention from Tunisia’s real problems.

Since 11 February, Tunisian authorities have launched a widespread arrest campaign against critics of President Kais Saied, accusing them of being part of a conspiracy against state security.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis since 2021, when Saied ousted the government and dissolved parliament.

Last July Saied held a referendum to draft a new constitution followed by parliamentary elections last December.

While the Tunisian leader insists that his measures were meant to “save” the country, critics have accused him of orchestrating a coup.

READ: Ennahda confirms Ghannouchi summoned for questioning again