Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Ennahdha called the seizure of Noureddine Bhairi a ‘dangerous precedent’ that foreshadowed a slide into ‘tyranny’.

Tunisia’s Ennahdha says security forces detained and condemned a senior party official who described it as an illegal attempt to silence political opposition in the country.

The party with the largest number of seats in Tunisia’s suspended parliament said in a Facebook post on Friday that agents in civilian clothes had taken Noureddine Bhairi and his sister-in-law, lawyer Said al-Akrami, to an unknown destination.

“The Ennahdha movement strongly condemns this dangerous precedent, which foreshadows that the country will enter the tunnel of tyranny and eradicate political opposition outside the framework of the law,” the statement said.

President Kais Saied has sacked parliament and government forces seized at the end of July, his opponents branded a coup in a move.

Since Saied’s intervention, several senior politicians and business leaders have been detained or prosecuted, often involving cases of corruption or libel.

A Tunisian court on December 23 sentence former president and Saied critic Moncef Marzouki in absentia to four years in prison for “assault” on state security, according to state media.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, Marzouki dismissed the verdict as illegal, saying it was “issued by an illegal president who overturned the constitution”.

Human rights groups have criticized some of the arrests and the use of military courts to hear such cases.

Saied denied the coup and promised to uphold rights and freedoms won in Tunisia’s 2011 revolution that ushered in democracy and caused the Arab Spring uprisings across the region.

However, the former constitutional professor set aside the democratic 2014 constitution and gave himself powers to rule by decree during a transitional period in which he will present a new constitution to a public referendum.

Ennahdha was banned before the revolution, but has since become the most consistently influential party and a member of successive coalition governments.

Recent Party Support withered due to economic stagnation and the paralysis of its political system.

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