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Tunisia’s Ennahda warns ‘unknown party’ used Ghannouchi’s phone

May 15, 2023 at 1:00 pm

Ennahda party chief Rachid Ghannouchi arrives to the court to appear at the money laundering accusation trial in Tunis, Tunisia on July 19, 2022. [Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency]

The Tunisian Ennahda movement warned that an “unknown” party used its leader, Rached Ghannouchi’s personal phone, despite him being in prison on charges of “conspiracy against state security”.

The movement said in a statement, “It is important for Ennahda to inform public opinion that this evening, Sunday, May 14, 2023, the two SIM cards of the head of the Ennahda movement, Rashed Ghannouchi, were operated by an unknown party.”

The movement warned of “the seriousness of these acts that violate the rights of Mr Rashid, who has been detained since April 27.”

The Tunisian authorities arrested the head of the Ennahda Movement and former Speaker of Parliament, Ghannouchi, on 17 April, before issuing a decision to imprison him on charges of “plotting to attack the state internal security” and that the attack “intended to replace the state’s body and prompt the people to attack each other.”

Twelve people, including Ghannouchi, were referred to investigation in the same case, while the source revealed that the judge issued orders to imprison several detainees, without holding hearings or meeting them.

The arrest came one day after Ghannouchi’s statements during a meeting at the National Salvation Front’s headquarters, in which he said: “Those who welcomed this coup with celebrations cannot be democrats. They are extremists, rather they are terrorists, rather they are advocates of civil war,” in reference to supporters of measures taken by President Kais Saied.

Since the end of last year, the Tunisian security authorities have launched a wave of arrests of opposition politicians, businessmen and media professionals, which indicates an increase in repression in the country since Saied’s decision to monopolise power in 2021.

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