Middle East

Hunger-striking Tunisian lawmaker transferred to hospital amid failing health

Mahbouba Ben Dhifallah started hunger strike on Dec. 26, protesting 'autocracy' silencing of opposition voices

Yosra Ounas   | 13.01.2022
Hunger-striking Tunisian lawmaker transferred to hospital amid failing health

TUNIS, Tunisia

A hunger-striking Tunisian lawmaker was transferred to a hospital on Thursday due to her deteriorating health as she protested a recent power grab by the country's president that critics have called a "coup."

In a statement, the "Citizens Against Coup" movement said Ennahdha party member Mahbouba Ben Dhifallah started a hunger strike on Dec. 26 along with other activists in protest of "autocracy" in the country and what they have said are efforts to silence the opposition.

The movement, which spearheads protests against Tunisian President Kais Saied's move on July 25 to oust the government, suspend parliament, and assume executive authority, has proposed a road map to end a political stalemate by holding presidential and parliamentary elections in the second half of this year.

Saied insists that the "exceptional measures" he took were meant to "save" the country, but critics have accused him of orchestrating a "coup."

On Wednesday, Ennahdha said authorities would be fully responsible should any harm come to its deputy chief Noureddine El-Beheiry, who also went on hunger strike following his Dec. 31 arrest that caused his health to deteriorate, forcing him to be taken to hospital on Jan. 2.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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