Tunisia UNSECO ambassador 'sacked' over objections to judges' dismissal by President Saied

Tunisia UNSECO ambassador 'sacked' over objections to judges' dismissal by President Saied
Kais Saied has reportedly dismissed Tunisia's ambassador to UNESCO Ghazi Gherairi over his opposition to the autocrat president's decision to sack 57 judgeslast month, which drew criticism and mass protests from the country's judiciary.
2 min read
17 July, 2022
Kais Saied has made a number of decisions, including the sacking of several officials, that have drawn intense criticism from the international sphere and rights groups [Getty]

Tunisia's ambassador to UNESCO Ghazi Gherairi has reportedly been dismissed by President Kais Saied due to his disagreement with the leader’s decisions, according to Arabi21 on Sunday.

The dismissal was announced by former UN expert Abdel Wahab El-Hani, who wrote on his Facebook page that Gherairi has been removed from his post, as well as from the International Francophonie Organisation over a month and a half ago, in what he called a 'presidential fit of anger' over the sacking of 57 judges last month.

Saied accused the sacked judges of corruption, cover-ups and protecting terrorists, amid a massive purge, as he launched a new decree extending his power over the North African country’s judiciary.

Gherairi reportedly asked Saied to reverse the decision and to refrain from interfering with the judiciary’s independence, which he deemed "contrary to all international standards".

El-Hani said that the news of Gherairi’s dismissal is being kept under wraps as of now, as to not draw attention to reports regarding the difficulty Tunisia is facing with organising the Francophonie Summit, due to take place on the island of Djerba this November.

This comes as the country has been experiencing a constitutional and political crisis since Saied’s power-grabbing moves in July last year.

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The summit’s organisers are reportedly facing mounting pressure to postpone or cancel it, according to El-Hani.

The judges’ dismissal led to hunger strikes from some of those who were sacked, while the decree prompted a nationwide strike and suspension of work by multiple unions.

Moreover, Tunisians judges have continued to protest the president's moves against the country’s judiciary.

Saied has come under heavy criticism for drafting a new constitution, which will be decided on during a referendum due to take place on 25 July. Tunisia’s opposition has urged for a boycott of the referendum, which appears to extend Saied's powers by reinstalling an autocracy.

The president's moves from last year, such as sacking the government and suspending parliament, have drawn unanimous condemnation from rights groups.