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Tunisia extends Ghannouchi’s imprisonment

February 14, 2024 at 10:36 am

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]

A Tunisian court has extended the imprisonment of the head of the Tunisian Ennahda movement, Rached Ghannouchi, and other party members for an additional four months, his lawyer told the Arabi21 news site.

Mounia Bouali said the extension was announced on Monday, adding that Ghannouchi refused to leave his prison cell and sign the extension paperwork.

Tunisian police arrested Ghannouchi in April 2023 on a warrant by counterterrorism prosecutors as part of an investigation over a video circulating online in which he purportedly said President Kais Saied’s perceived efforts to “eradicate’’ Islamist opposition threaten to unleash civil war.

He was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of committing a conspiracy to commit an attack against state security.

According to his lawyer, the imprisonment extension decision includes Shura Council member Yousef Al-Nouri, who also refused to leave prison to sign the extension paperwork, as well as Ahmed Al-Mashriqi, Ghannouchi’s office manager, who signed the extension decision.

Ghannouchi was arrested nearly two months after the Tunitian authorities launched a massive arrest campaign against opponents of President Saied.

The detainees launched an open hunger strike on Monday to protest their arrest and to demand their freedom and the freedom of all political prisoners as well as the cessation of judicial prosecutions of opposition members.

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