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Islamic intellectuals call on Tunisia to respect Sharia by releasing political prisoners

June 8, 2023 at 8:47 am

Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rashid Ghannouchi in Tunis, Tunisia on 4 October 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Islamic intellectuals have launched a campaign calling for the release of the leader of the Ennahda Movement, Rashid Ghannouchi, and other political prisoners in Tunisia.

Approximately 150 Islamic thinkers, led by Secretary-General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Ali Al-Qaradaghi, urged the Tunisian authorities to immediately release the detainees, restore their freedom, safeguard their dignity and respect their rights.

In a widely circulated statement on social media, they said: “We, the undersigned, scholars and thinkers of the ummah, express our absolute solidarity with Professor Rashid Ghannouchi, the renowned Islamic thinker and dissolved Parliament Speaker, as well as with all political prisoners. We demand their immediate release, the restoration of their freedom, the preservation of their dignity, and the respect of their rights. We consider the right to freedom as the foundation of human rights and the essence of justice, by the principles of the noble Sharia and universal human values.”

The statement added, “We affirm our steadfast position in supporting human rights and fundamental freedoms, which we consider among the purposes of Sharia. In this context, we emphasise the importance of collective action and cooperation to achieve these noble goals, primarily protecting freedoms and human dignity.”

Many politicians and human rights activists worldwide have called for Ghannouchi’s release. Last month, 150 academics, including Noam Chomsky, Francis Fukuyama and Burhan Ghalioun, sent an open letter to the Tunisian authorities urging them to restore democracy and release political prisoners.

READ: Tunisia detainees’ families appeal to African Court for release