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Tunisia: Former Parliamentary Speaker Rached Ghannouchi Detained – Again

Cape Town — Influential Tunisian Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi, 81, was detained on Monday April 17, 2023 after a police search, Associated Pressreports. Ghannounchi’s arrest has been slammed by his supporters, who say it is a stepped-up effort by President Kais Saied to quash Tunisia’s opposition.

Tunisia is experiencing growing social tensions – particularly with remarks made by the president against migrants. The country is also experiencing economic challenges.

Ghannouchi who is head of the Ennahdha party, is an outspoken critic of President Saied, who stood for reelection on December 17, 2022. For a country of over 11 million people, it experienced its lowest voter turnout of less than 10% of the population.

In February 2023, Tunis Afrique Press reported that Ghannouchi was detained and then released by the Aouina National Guard’s Counter-Terrorism Unit.

Ghannouchi’s supporters say that this latest arrest is more serious.

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