Middle East

Tunisia’s Ennahda concerned about politicization of judiciary

Party says pressure on judiciary, media has intensified following July 25 ‘exceptional measures’

Adel Al-Thabti   | 08.10.2021
Tunisia’s Ennahda concerned about politicization of judiciary

TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisia's Ennahda Movement party expressed concern Thursday over the politicization of the judiciary and the targeting of media houses and journalists.

In a statement, the party’s president, Rashid Ghannouchi, said he was deeply concerned about judges being insulted and questioned and called for respect for "the independence of the judiciary as a guarantor of rights, freedoms and justice."

He also warned against the dangers of targeting media outlets such as Al-Zaytouna TV and the imprisonment of journalists or referring them to military courts without reason, which he said was an attack on freedom of the press and media.

In a related context, Ennahda denounced the prevalent “hatred, incitement” and divisive politics in the political discourse in the country, including the insulting of political rivals, which it said has worsened since July 25 and is “in stark contrast with the foundations of coexistence and the ethics of democratic dialogue."

On July 25, President Kais Saied ousted the government, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority. While he insists that his "exceptional measures" are meant to "save" the country, critics accuse him of orchestrating a coup.

Reports and statements by the National Syndicate of Journalists said journalists and media houses in the North African country have been subjected to restrictions and harassment, including arrests, since the announcement of the so-called exceptional measures.

Earlier on Thursday, the Hope and Action Movement slammed Saied in a statement for interfering in the judiciary and for exerting pressure on the judges.

"The coup authority is still continuing the systematic policy of perpetuating one-man rule and trying to abolish any amendment or oversight authority," the statement said.

Tunisia has been seen as the only country that succeeded in carrying out a democratic transition among Arab countries which witnessed popular revolutions toppling ruling regimes, including Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar

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