Families demand release of jailed opposition figures in Tunisia

Families demand release of jailed opposition figures in Tunisia
Activist Ezzedine Hazgui speaks at press conference


Families of several jailed Tunisian opposition members demanded their release Wednesday. Some of the figures recently started a hunger strike. They include Rached Ghannouchi, head o the Islamist Ennahdha party, Issam Chebbi, lead of the opposition National Salvation Front and the politician Jawhar Ben Mbarek.

Labelled as “terrorists” by President Kais Saied, more than 20 opposition figures have been imprisoned since February 2023, on suspicion of conspiring against the internal and external security of the state.

Speaking at press conference with other family members of the jailed opposition figures, the father of Ben Mbarek, Ezzedine Hazgui said: “For a year they have been in prison without any crime or charge.”

A lawyer for the detainees’ defence committee told the conference: “The hunger strike is starting to take its toll on their health, but they insist on continuing.”

Tunisian and international human rights groups have repeatedly called for the release of the opposition figures and criticized the court proceedings against them.

After being democratically elected in October 2019, President Saied launched what critics called an internal coup in July 2021, seizing all the levers of state power which included firing the Prime Minister and suspending Parliament.

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