More than 100 academics call for Ghannouchi’s release in Tunisia | Human Rights News


In an open letter, 150 signatories name for the discharge of opposition chief Ghannouchi, saying his arrest is a part of a ‘witch hunt’.

Dozens of teachers and public figures have signed an open letter calling for the discharge of jailed Tunisian opposition chief Rached Ghannouchi, who was arrested late final month, pending a trial.

Ghannouchi, who was the speaker of parliament earlier than it was suspended by Tunisia’s President Kais Saied in July 2021, was jailed on suspicion of plotting towards state safety.

In keeping with his lawyer, the 81-year-old was sentenced in absentia this week to a 12 months in jail.

The 150 signatories in Wednesday’s open letter stated Ghannouchi was arrested for a public assertion by which he “criticised Tunisian President Kais Saied’s coup towards democracy”.

They stated his arrest is a part of a wide-ranging “politically motivated witch hunt”.

“Mr Ghannouchi is recognised as one of the crucial distinguished advocates of democracy within the Arab world,” the signatories, from 18 nations throughout North America and Europe, wrote.

“His consensus-building strategy and constant requires dialogue and unity throughout political, mental and ideological traces are wanted in Tunisia, the broader area and past greater than ever.”

Saied has been conducting a unbroken crackdown towards the nation’s opposition since he suspended parliament. A number of opposition figures have been detained in current months, a lot of them from the distinguished Ennahdha Get together.

He gave himself powers to rule and legislate by decree and seized control of the judiciary in what rivals noticed as a blow to democracy within the birthplace of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

“Tunisian democrats haven’t remained silent. Dozens are in jail for bravely defending their onerous received rights and freedoms, and confronted trumped up expenses of ‘conspiring towards the state’,” the letter learn.

The signatories additional expressed their “help and solidarity for all political prisoners”.

“We name on the Tunisian authorities to launch all political prisoners and to revive freedoms and human rights in Tunisia.”

In October 2011, Ennahdha emerged as the most important social gathering within the nation’s first parliamentary elections because the elimination of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, successful 37 p.c of the vote.

During the last a number of weeks, authorities in Tunisia have arrested not less than 17 different Ennahdha social gathering members, prompting rights teams like Human Rights Watch to sentence the Tunisian authorities.

The US-based rights group has warned that the federal government was “transferring to neutralize the nation’s largest political social gathering”.

HRW stated final week the whole variety of arrests of opposition figures thought-about crucial of Saied stood at 30.

Different critics have stated Saied has moved the nation, which additionally faces a grinding financial disaster, down a harmful path back towards autocracy.

Saied maintains that Tunisia wants a powerful presidency to allow the officeholder to behave rapidly and decisively.

These focused within the newest crackdown included political activists and attorneys.

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