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HomeNewsAfricaImprisoned Tunisian opposition leader Rached Ghannouchi initiates hunger strike in protest

Imprisoned Tunisian opposition leader Rached Ghannouchi initiates hunger strike in protest

Rached Ghannouchi, a prominent figure in Tunisia’s opposition and leader of the Ennahda party, has embarked on a hunger strike in solidarity with fellow anti-government activists.

The move comes as a form of protest against the continued detention of opposition figures, as reported by a team of lawyers representing the opposition.

Ghannouchi, aged 82, has long been a vocal critic of President Kais Saied and his administration. Last year, he was arrested on charges of incitement against police and alleged involvement in plots against state security.

In a statement released by his legal team, Ghannouchi urged Tunisians to uphold democratic principles, emphasizing the importance of freedom and judicial independence. Despite his hunger strike, he remains committed to advocating for a democratic Tunisia that is inclusive of all its citizens.

The opposition has strongly condemned President Saied’s actions, particularly his decision to dissolve the elected parliament in 2021, which they view as a coup. Saied, on the other hand, defends his actions as necessary measures to restore stability to Tunisia after years of political turmoil.

Last week, six other opposition leaders initiated an indefinite hunger strike to demand their release from detention without trial. They have also called for an end to judicial harassment of political activists, journalists, and civil society members.

The detained leaders, including Jawher Ben Mbarak, Khayam Turki, Ghazi Chaouachi, Issam Chabbi, Abdelhamid Jalasi, and Rida Belhaj, were arrested on suspicion of plotting against state security.

The opposition accuses President Saied of suppressing press freedom and undermining democratic institutions through his constitutional reforms. Saied, however, maintains that his actions are necessary to protect Tunisia from instability.

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