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Tunisia : Ennahada's leader reacts to alleged terrorism accusations

Rached Ghannouchi, head of Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party, greets his supporters as he leaves the office of Tunisia's counter-terrorism prosecutor in Tunis on July 19, 2022.   -  
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The leader of Tunisia's Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, Rached Ghannouchi, greets his supporters after appearing before an anti-terrorism investigating judge in connection with the alleged sending of jihadists to Syria and Iraq, a case described as politically motivated by his movement.

Rached Ghannouchi, a key player in Tunisian politics for over a decade, appeared before a judge after being questioned overnight by specialists from the anti-terror police.

Ghannouchi dismissed all the allegations suggesting Ennahda’s involvement.

"This whole thing is about something that does not concern us. It is called 'the shipment of jihadists to conflict zones'. All the attempts of the investigators to justify or prove these accusations against the Ennahda party are indeed in vain due to the simple fact that ... the Ennahda political party has nothing to do with this situation."

Rached Ghannouchi, whom had been exiled for over two decades during Ben Ali's presidency and returned following the country's 2011 uprising, is a key opponent of current Tunisian President Kais Saied.

"There is an orchestrated attempt by the government to eliminate a political opponent. Ennahda is the biggest and oldest party in the country. They have failed in the electoral confrontation and in freedom. They have found nothing else but to try to smear us, by affiliating us with terrorism to eliminate a powerful political opponent."

The opposition party, Ennahda, played a central role in Tunisia's post-Ben Ali democratic politics until Kais Saied began his power grab in July of last year, which was followed by a controversial referendum that granted him unchecked powers.

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