Tunisia opposition condemns 'violent', 'baseless' string of arrests

Ahmed Nejib Chebbi (C), political committee chief of Tunisia's Amal Party and leader of the opposition National Salvation Front, on Feb. 15, 2023.   -  
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National Salvation Front, Tunisia's main opposition coalition on Wednesday slammed a string of arrests mainly targeting critics of President Kais Saied, on Wednesday (Feb. 15).

Police on Monday night arrested a former justice minister a radio director, two days after a political activist.

"These violent arrests are legally baseless, simply because search and arrests can only be made on the basis of summons," the head of the coalition, Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, said. "Resorting to violence will not benefit the state, rather it will deepen the rot."

The arrests come 18 months after Saied froze parliament and seized far-reaching powers, in a move, critics labelled a coup.

During a visit to the Interior ministry, the president dismissed the opposition’s comments.

"We are living in a delicate and dangerous phase, and the charges (against those arrested) are related to a plot against the internal and external security of the state. We respect [legal] procedures and human rights.

The United Nations voiced alarm on Tuesday over what it called "the deepening crackdown against perceived political opponents and civil society".

The UN high commissioner for Human rights expressed concern on Tuesday.

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