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Tunisia arrests former Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh after 14 hours of questioning | Political news

Ali Laarayedh was questioned for 14 hours and is expected to appear before the judge on Wednesday, his lawyers said.

Tunisia’s counter-terrorism police arrested Ali Laarayedh, a former prime minister and high-ranking official in Party Ennahdhaa move the opposition party called “a political attack” by the country’s president.

Laarayedh, who served as prime minister from 2013 to 2014, was questioned for 14 hours on Monday on suspicion of “bringing jihadists to Syria”, according to his lawyer, who briefed him on the incident. detained on Tuesday.

Ennahdha’s leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, who is also said to have been questioned on Monday, will be questioned on Tuesday.

Official and security sources estimate that around 6,000 Tunisians have traveled to Syria and Iraq over the past decade to join armed groups, including ISIL (ISIS). Many people were killed there while others escaped and returned to Tunisia.

“I oppose this phenomenon and take measures to limit it,” Laarayedh said on Monday.

According to lawyer Mokhtar Jamai, he is scheduled to appear before the judge on Wednesday.

“We are shocked… the file is completely empty and without any proof,” said Samir Dilou, another lawyer, before describing the case as a “farce”.

In a statement, Ennahdha condemned the conditions of the investigation carried out by the Counter-Terrorism Team, describing it as “a form of torture, abuse, blatant violation of human rights and demeaning in the face of human rights abuses.” fabricated cases and malicious accusations”.

Ghannouchi counter-terrorism hearing delayed

Cop postpone A hearing for Tunisia’s opposition leader and disbanded parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi took place on Tuesday afternoon, after he was forced to wait more than 10 hours.

Ghannouchi also faces investigation into allegations of “terrorism”, which his party denies.

The 81-year-old man accused President Kais Saied of a anti-democratic coup since he wielded considerable power last summer, closing parliament and moved to rule by decree, powers which he formalized largely by means of a new constitution.

Speaking late on Saturday, Ghannouchi said the summons was “a new attempt at opponents and a new step towards exclusion”.

Ennahdha spokesman Imad Khamiri told Al Jazeera that the summoning of Ghannouchi and other leaders was intended to distract the public from the rising cost of living and economic disaster of the country.

There is growing international concern that Saied is reversing a decade of democratic progress in Tunisia following the North African country’s revolution against longtime strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

Opponents of Ennahdha have accused the party of leniency towards armed militants, something the party has long denied.

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