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Tunisia: Opposition leader Ghannouchi begins hunger strike in prison

Leader of Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party House Speaker Rached Ghannouchi   -  
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Hassene Dridi/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved.


Tunisian opposition leader Rached Ghannouchi went on hunger strike on Monday in solidarity with other anti-government figures waging a protest fast.

The imprisoned Ghannouchi, a fierce critic of President Kais Saied and head of the Ennahda main opposition party was jailed last year on charges of incitement against police and plotting against state security.

The 82 year old was also sentenced earlier this month to three years in prison in a separate case on charges of accepting external financing.

His lawyers said in a statement that was quoted in the press as "while he is fighting the 'empty stomach' battle, Ghannouchi calls on Tunisians to adhere to a democratic Tunisia that includes everyone on the basis of freedom ... and the independence of the judiciary".

At least six opposition leaders arrested in a 2023 crackdown began an open-ended hunger strike last week to protest at their imprisonment without trial and demand their immediate release from prison.

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