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Tunisian president slams critics following opposition leader's arrest

Kais Saied, Tunisian president speaking during a meeting with officials in the presidency on April 20, 2023   -  
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Cleared / AFP / Tunisian Presidency


Meeting with his Prime minister and other officials at the presidency Thursday (Apr. 20), Tunisia’s leader slammed foreign reactions following the detention of opposision leader Rached Ghannouchi.

Following his arrest on Monday (Apr.19), the E.U had expressed concern saying that the 'principle of political pluralism was essential for any democracy' and an element making up "the basis of its partnership with Tunisia".

"They (the capitals) have expressed concerns. Why do they do that when we are talking about a call to civil war," President Kaies Said asked. 

"The law was applied by honest judges."

"This blatant interference in our affairs is unacceptable. We are an independent and sovereign state and we do not accept any interference in our affairs."

Since the early February, Tunisian authorities have imprisoned more than 20 personalities openly opposed to president Saied's rule.

Tunisia’s official TAP news agency reported earlier this week that he was detained on a warrant by counterterrorism prosecutors as part of an investigation into recent "provocative" comments. It did not elaborate.

Some local media reported that Ghannouchi had been questioned over a video circulated online in which the leader of the opposition Islamist movement Ennahdha purportedly says that the president’s perceived efforts to "eradicate" Islamist opposition threaten to unleash civil war.

The move comes amid growing social tensions and deepening economic troubles in Tunisia, the birthplace of the "Arab Spring" a movement pro-democracy movement more than a decade ago.

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