Tunisia puts senior official from main opposition party under house arrest

Tunisian authorities have imposed house arrest on Abdel Karim Harouni, a prominent figure in the opposition Ennahda Islamist Party, as confirmed by the nation’s primary opposition coalition on Saturday.

Harouni presides over the Shura Council, the top-ranking body within Ennahda, which was the largest political party in the parliament that President Kais Saied dissolved in 2021.

The Salvation Front coalition characterized the action taken against Harouni as an “arbitrary decision,” which occurred in the backdrop of the apprehension of Ennahda leaders and the closure of its headquarters.

This year, the police detained the party’s leader, Rached Ghannouchi, who is the most prominent critic of the president, along with several other party officials, including Noureddine Bhiri, Riadh Bettaib, Said Ferjani, Sahbi Atigue, and Mohamed Ben Salem.

Furthermore, the government prohibited gatherings at all Ennahda premises and law enforcement personnel shuttered all party offices, a move that Ennahda alleged was aimed at solidifying a dictatorial regime.

Throughout this year, the police have apprehended prominent political figures who have accused President Saied of orchestrating a coup by dissolving the elected parliament in 2021 and subsequently governing by decree while revising the constitution.

President Saied has referred to those detained as “terrorists, traitors, and criminals.”

Opposition parties have condemned the arrests of their leaders as politically motivated, and both local and international human rights organizations have called on authorities to release the detainees.

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