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Tunisia: Bhiri's arrest "annoys" Ennahadha party

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FETHI BELAID/AFP or licensors


Leaders of Tunisia's Ennahdha party on Friday condemned the arrest of the party’s deputy chairman Noureddine Bhiri.

At a press conference at the party’s office in Tunis, the party describe the situation as a dangerous precedent.

According to sources, agents in civilian clothing picked up Bhiri as he was living his house on Friday.

Legal representative of the Ennahda movement, Zeineb Brahmi says the party former justice minister has since been transported to an unknown location.

"we don’t know, and no judicial authority knows the place of the kidnapping of Noureddine Bhiri." She said.

The party has alleged the country’s president; Kais Saied has a hand in the arrest.

"We hold the president of the republic directly responsible because he incited against Mr. Bhiri more than once in his speeches - he didn’t name him but all Tunisians know this incitement, and we hold Taoufik Seifeddine, minister of the interior, responsible." Mohamed Goumani, Ennahdha official claims.

On July 25, Saied sacked the Ennahdha-supported government and suspended parliament, presenting himself as the ultimate interpreter of the constitution.

He later took steps to rule by decree, and in early December vowed to press on with reforms to the political system.

The former law professor announced an 11-week "popular consultation" to produce "draft constitutional and other reforms" ahead of a referendum set for July 25.

His opponents have denounced a "coup" and warned against what they see as Saied's wish to settle scores with those he has called "enemies" but never names.

A Tunisian court last week sentenced in absentia exiled former president Moncef Marzouki, a fierce critic of Saied, to four years in prison.

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