Bhiri is being ‘deprived of his medication’ and ‘his life is threatened’, say Ennahdha officials.
Tunisian politician Noureddine Bhiri was rushed to hospital in critical condition his arrest by civilian officials Friday in Tunis, activists and lawmakers said.
Bhiri “is in critical condition” and “in intensive care” at a hospital in the northern town of Bizerte, lawyer and politician Samir Dilou told AFP news agency on Sunday.
Kais Saied [Tunisia’s president] bears full responsibility for the life of Mr Bhiri, “the anti-Saied group known as Citizens Against the Coup wrote on Twitter, adding that Bhiri” faces death “and” in a very serious condition to the hospital. haste ”.
Tunisia’s independent national body for the Prevention of Torture (INPT) said on Saturday that authorities had not provided any information about Bhiri or about Fathi Baldi, a former Interior Ministry official who was also taken in for questioning on Friday.
The Interior Ministry said two individuals were placed under house arrest, without identifying them. It said the move was a “preventive measure determined by the need to preserve national security”.
President Saied was accused of carrying out a coup in July last year when he fired the Ennahdha-backed government and suspended parliament.
He later took steps to rule by decree, and promised in early December to continue reforms to the political system.
Ennahdha chief Rached Ghannouchi, who is also the speaker of the suspended parliament, has released a letter addressed to Tunisia’s president demanding urgent information on Bhiri’s condition and his release.
After “refusing to disclose where he is being held,” we emphasize that it is your responsibility to disclose his current condition, “Ghannouchi wrote in the letter published on the Ennahdha website on Sunday.
He appealed to Saied “to enable a medical and human rights team to visit him … and we ask you to release him urgently”.
Mondher Lounissi, a doctor and member of Ennahdha’s executive bureau, said in a statement that Bhiri suffers from several chronic diseases, including diabetes and hypertension.
He was “deprived of his medication” and “his life is threatened”, Lounissi told a news conference, adding that Bhiri usually takes 16 pills a day.
Lounissi urged the Red Crescent and international organizations to intervene on behalf of Bhiri, calling his situation “inhuman”.
– Ennahdha Party (@EnnahdhaParty) 2 January 2022
Another senior Ennahdha member, Said Ferjani, told AFP to see that “a former cabinet minister is being treated this way … is dangerous for Tunisia and the region”.
MP Saida Ounissi had earlier tweeted that Bhiri had been kept in a “secret place” since his arrest and that no charges had been laid against him.
Since Saied’s intervention, several senior politicians and business leaders have been detained or prosecuted, many of them on charges of corruption or libel.
Law groups have criticized some of those arrests and the use of military courts to hear cases.
Saied promised to uphold the rights and freedoms won in Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, which ushered in democracy and caused the Arab Spring uprisings across the region.