| 14 July 2024, Sunday |

Tunisia places senior official in main opposition party under house arrest

Tunisian authorities have placed Abdel Karim Harouni, a top figure in the opposition Ennahda Islamist Party, under house arrest, according to the country’s major opposition alliance.

Harouni is the president 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.

According to the Salvation Front coalition, the “arbitrary decision” against Harouni was made in the context of the arrest of Ennahda officials and the closing of their offices.

The police this year arrested the party’s leader, Rached Ghannouchi, the most prominent critic of president, as well as several other party officials, including Noureddine Bhiri, Riadh Bettaib, Said Ferjani, Sahbi Atigue and Mohamed Ben Salem.

The government also prohibited gatherings at all Ennahda offices, and police locked all party offices, which Ennahda said was done to consolidate a totalitarian dictatorship.

This year, police arrested prominent political personalities who accused Saied of staging a coup when he shut down the elected parliament in 2021 and tried to rule by decree before amending the constitution. Those imprisoned have been labeled as “terrorists, traitors, and criminals” by Saied.

The arrests of opposition leaders have been condemned as politically motivated, and local and international rights groups have asked authorities to release the inmates.

  • Reuters