Senior official from Tunisia’s Ennahda party released from house arrest

Senior official from Tunisia’s Ennahda party released from house arrest
Tunisian demonstrators run for cover during clashes with police as they protest against President Kais Saied, on the 11th anniversary of the Tunisian revolution in the capital Tunis. (AFP/File)
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Updated 09 March 2022
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Senior official from Tunisia’s Ennahda party released from house arrest

Senior official from Tunisia’s Ennahda party released from house arrest

TUNIS: A senior official from the biggest party in Tunisia’s suspended parliament was released from more than two months of detention early on Tuesday, his party said.

Noureddine Bhairi — vice president of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party which has accused President Kais Saied of mounting a coup by dissolving parliament and seizing executive powers — arrived at his house at dawn in an ambulance, video showed.

The 64-year-old mounted a hunger strike while in detention, his supporters said. The video footage released by his party appeared to show Bhairi had lost a lot of weight.

The interior minister said in January Bhairi had been held for illegal submission of passports and nationality documents and on suspicion of terrorism, without going into details. Ennahda dismissed the charges as politically motivated.

“Thank God for freedom, we hope to get Tunisia out of the stage of injustice, revenge,” Rached Ghannouchi, the head of Ennahda party and the speaker of the suspended parliament said after Bhairi’s release.

The Interior Ministry said it had lifted what it called Bhairi’s house arrest after the appointment of a new Supreme Judicial Council which would allow the judiciary to complete the investigation into his case.

President Saied on Monday appointed a temporary replacement for the country’s top judicial council, a body he dissolved last month in what his opponents called a move to consolidate his power.