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Solidarity group formed in support of Tunisia's Ghannouchi

International group formed in support of Tunisia's imprisoned former speaker Ghannouchi
2 min read
17 April, 2024
A solidarity committe has been formed to draw attention to the case of former Tunisia parliamentary speaker Rached Ghannouchi, who has spent a year in prison.
Rached Ghannouchi, 82, has been imprisoned since April 2023 [Getty]

A new organisation has been formed in solidarity with Tunisia’s detained former Speaker of Parliament, 82-year-old Rached Ghannouchi, one year after he was imprisoned by the government of current President Kais Saied.

The formation of International Committee for Solidarity with Rached Ghannouchi was announced on Wednesday.

The committee said that the former parliamentary speaker, who also chairs the moderate Islamist Ennahdha party was "unjustly detained at his home" and "taken to an unknown location, denied access to a lawyer, and subjected to a lengthy and degrading interrogation".

Ghannouchi has been charged with “incitement against police” and “plotting against the state”.

He has also been sentenced – in a separate case - to three years in jail for accepting foreign funding.

Until July 2021, Ghannouchi held the position of Speaker of Parliament while his Ennahdha party held the largest number of seats there.

However, President Kais Saied launched a power grab that month, suspending parliament and sacking the prime minister.

Since then Saied has imprisoned hundreds of political opponents and enacted a new authoritarian constitution.

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Former justice minister Noureddine Bhiri, former public prosecutor Bechir Akremi, and prominent Ennahda leader Said Ferjani have also been imprisoned.

Before 2021, Tunisia was considered the only success story of the Arab Spring, having established a functioning democracy.

The solidarity committee includes former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, former Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El-Othmani, and former Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur.