Tunisia Places Senior Opposition Politician Under House Arrest

Harare — Abdel Karim Harouni, a top official in the opposition Ennahda Islamist Party, is under house arrest, according to the country’s major opposition coalition, Reuters reports.

Harouni is the head of the Shura Council, the highest-ranking body of Ennahda, the largest political party in the parliament that was closed down by President Kais Saied in 2021.

The arrest of Ennahda leaders and the closure of its headquarters, according to the Salvation Front alliance, led to “the arbitrary decision” against Harouni.

This year, the police detained numerous party officials, including Noureddine Bhiri, Riadh Bettaib, Said Ferjani, Sahbi Atigue, and Mohamed Ben Salem, as well as the party’s head, Rached Ghannouchi, who is the president’s most vocal opponent.

In a move that Ennahda says is intended to solidify a dictatorial dictatorship, the government also outlawed meetings at all Ennahda offices and the police locked all party offices. Leading political figures were imprisoned by police this year after accusing Saied of staging a coup after he disbanded the elected parliament in 2021 and transitioned to a dictatorship by decree before revising the constitution. Saied referred to those in custody as “terrorists, traitors, and criminals”.

The detention of the opposition parties’ leaders was criticized as being politically motivated, and local and international rights organizations are asking the authorities to release the prisoners.


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