Tunisia shuts offices of opposition party Ennahdha: Official

AFP , Tuesday 18 Apr 2023

Tunisian authorities closed the offices of Islamist-inspired opposition party Ennahdha on Tuesday, a day after arresting its leader Rached Ghannouchi, a senior party official said.

Tunisia opposition arrest
Security forces agents gather during a raid outside the home of the head of Tunisia s Islamist movement Ennahdha Rached Ghannouchi in Tunis on April 17, 2023. AFP


"A police unit showed up at the party's main headquarters (in Tunis) and ordered everyone there to leave before closing it," Riadh Chaibi said.

"The police also closed the other offices of the party elsewhere in the country and prohibited any meeting in these premises," he told AFP.

The move came after Ennahdha's veteran leader Ghannouchi was arrested at his home in the capital Tunis, the latest in a string of opposition figures held.

Ennahdha was the largest party in Tunisia's parliament before President Kais Saied dissolved the chamber in July 2021.

Ennahdha vice-president Mondher Lounissi told a news conference late Monday that Ghannouchi had been taken to a police barracks for questioning and that his lawyers had not been allowed to attend.

His arrest came after media reports in which he allegedly said Tunisia would be threatened with "civil war" if political Islam, from which his party originated, were eradicated there.

A source at the interior ministry quoted by Tunisian media confirmed that Ghannouchi's arrest was linked to these statements.

Since early February, authorities in the North African country have arrested more than 20 political opponents and personalities.

They have included politicians, former ministers, businessmen, trade unionists and the owner of Tunisia's most popular radio station, Mosaique FM.

Saied, 65, claims those detained were terrorists adding that they posed a threat to state security.

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