A Tunisian investigative judge has ordered the imprisonment of Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the main opposition party Ennahda and a prominent critic of President Kais Saied, according to Ghannouchi’s lawyer who spoke to Reuters.
Ghannouchi was arrested on Monday and accused of plotting against internal state security. The decision to imprison him followed an eight-hour investigation.
Several leading political figures who accused Saied of a coup for his moves to close parliament and rule by decree before rewriting the constitution have been detained this year.
Ennahda fears the move will pave the way for banning the party, and the US has criticized Ghannouchi’s arrest, the closure of Ennahda’s headquarters, and the banning of meetings by opposition groups as a troubling escalation.
Ghannouchi has faced several rounds of judicial questioning over the past year on charges relating to Ennahda’s finances and allegations it helped Islamists travel to Syria for jihad, charges he and the party both deny.
The political situation in Tunisia has been tense in recent months, with several leading figures accusing President Kais Saied of a coup. Saied’s moves to close parliament and rule by decree before rewriting the constitution have sparked widespread concern, with many fearing that the move will pave the way for the banning of opposition parties, including Ennahda.
Ennahda, the country’s largest party, has been particularly vocal in its opposition to Saied’s actions. The party has expressed concerns that the president’s moves will be used to justify the banning of the party, and has criticized the closure of its headquarters and the banning of meetings by opposition groups.
The United States has also expressed concern about the escalating political situation in Tunisia. The arrest of Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi has been particularly controversial, with the US criticizing the move as a troubling escalation.
Ghannouchi has faced multiple rounds of questioning over the past year on charges related to Ennahda’s finances and allegations that the party helped Islamists travel to Syria for jihad. Both Ghannouchi and the party have denied the charges.
The political situation in Tunisia remains uncertain, with many worried about the future of democracy in the country. The international community will be watching closely to see how the situation develops in the coming weeks and months.