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Tunisia: Ghannouchi ends hunger strike ‘to avoid health complications’

February 22, 2024 at 12:53 pm

A woman is holding a sign of Rached Ghannouchi to show support for Ennahdha Movement leader Rached Ghannouchi in front of the Anti-Terrorism Judicial Pole at Charguia in Tunis, Tunisia on 21 February 2023 [Hasan Mrad/DeFodi Images via Getty Images]

The leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, Rached Ghannouchi, has ended the hunger strike that he started on Monday to avoid “health complications”.

This was announced in a statement yesterday by the defence team for the detainees in the case in which they are accused of plotting against state security in Tunisia.

The committee confirmed that Ghannouchi received a visit yesterday from a delegation of the Tunisian League for Human Rights and another from the National Authority for the Prevention of Torture.

It added that Ghannouchi decided to comply with their request to end his hunger strike to avoid serious complications to his health.

On Monday, Ghannouchi began a hunger strike in solidarity with political prisoners who are on hunger strike at the Monastir Prison, where he is serving his sentence.

Ghannouchi is among dozens of political opponents of President Kais Saied, including former top officials and business figures, who have been arrested since last February, drawing international concern.

Ghannouchi served as Parliament Speaker, whose Ennahda Party was the largest before it was dissolved by Saied in July 2021, after which he ousted the government.

On 1 February, a court sentenced him to three years in prison for accepting foreign funding for his political party.

This is the second sentence that has been issued against him. Previously, he was sentenced on 15 May 2023 to one year in prison and fined 1,000 dinars ($328) for incitement in the Tawaghit case. The complaint was filed against Ghannouchi by a member of the security unions, who accused him of referring to the security forces as Tawaghit (tyrants) during a speech.

WATCH: Ghannouchi’s letter from a Tunisian prison