Tunisia police shut down political opposition offices and detain leader News
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Tunisia police shut down political opposition offices and detain leader

Tunisia Police Tuesday shut down the Ennahdha offices, operating headquarters for Tunisia’s Islamist-inspired opposition party. The move came a day after police arrested Rached Ghannouchi, Ennahdha’s party leader, at his residence in Tunis, Tunisia–the nation’s capital.

Ennahdha announced that investigators had raided the office headquarters in Tunis on Tuesday. Allegedly, investigators threatened all workers that remained inside the office following the raid with arrest. Ennahdha lawyers were also denied entry to oversee compliance with investigation procedure.

At a press conference Monday, Ennahdha Vice President Mondher Lounissi said Ghannouchi was brought to Al-Awina police barracks for questioning. Over 40 lawyers arrived outside of the barracks to assist Ghannouchi, but were not permitted to attend his questioning. As a result, Ennahdha called Ghannouchi’s arrest a “kidnapping.”

Local news source La Presse de Tunisie reported that Tunisian prosecutors ordered a warrant for Ghannouchi’s arrest following his invocation of civil war if political Islam–the heart of Ennahdha–was extinguished in Tunisia. During his arrest, investigators seized items from Ghannouchi’s home that they believe may assist in the prosecution against him.

Back in July 2021, Tunisian President Kais Saied suspended and then later dissolved the Tunisian Parliament. At the time, Ennahdha was the dominant force in the body and Ghannouchi served as speaker. Ennahdha encompassed politicians, former ministers, businesspeople, labor activists and the proprietor of Mosaique FM, a private radio station in Tunisia.