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Amnesty urges Tunisian authorities to release critics

Amnesty urges Tunisian authorities to release critics
Tunisia arrests critics of country’s president, accusing them of being part of conspiracy against state security

By Yamena Salemi

TUNIS, Tunisia (AA) – Human rights group Amnesty International has called on the Tunisian authorities to drop criminal investigation measures against 17 political prisoners and critics of the country's president, Kais Saied.

"The criminal investigation is among the most nakedly aggressive attacks by authorities on dissent since a power grab by the president in 2021," Amnesty said in a statement.

The London-based group said among critics targeted by the authorities are "opposition party members, political activists, lawyers, and the head of a popular radio station known for giving a platform to criticism of President Saied."

"[Tunisian] authorities are increasingly using the court system to target critics of President Saied, while the president has worked steadily to bring courts under his own influence," said Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North.

There was no comment from the Tunisian authorities on Amnesty’s call.

Since February 11, the Tunisian authorities launched a wide arrest campaign against critics of Saied, accusing them of being part of a conspiracy against state security.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that aggravated the country's economic conditions since 2021 when Saied ousted the government and dissolved parliament.

Since then, Saied held a referendum to draft a new Constitution last July and parliamentary elections in December.

While the Tunisian leader insists that his measures were meant to "save" the country, critics have accused him of orchestrating a coup.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

source: News Feed
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