The political crisis in Tunisia… an escalating human rights and political controversy

Video duration 22 minutes 21 seconds

Writer and political analyst Ahmed El-Giloufi said that the ruling against former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki confirms that the country is moving rapidly towards a system that controls everything, from the economy to the judiciary and the press.

Al-Giloufi added – in an interview with an episode of “Beyond the News” program (2021/12/23) – that controlling all parts of the state is the practice of dictatorial regimes, noting that there are cases related to martyrs and detainees who were tortured in previous eras, and the judiciary has not decided on them since About 30 years old.

He stressed that the ruling is part of a clear political battle in which President Qais Saeed wanted to liquidate his opponents through the judiciary, stressing that “Saeed threatens the judiciary since the coup of last July 25,” considering that “if a small tyrant controls the judiciary, the press and the media, he becomes a big tyrant. This is exactly what happened in Tunisia.

The judicial ruling in prison against former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki constituted a new stage in the course of the political crisis in Tunisia.

The Democratic Current, the Republican Party, and the Ettakatol for Labor and Freedoms parties considered that the ruling on Marzouki set a dangerous precedent, and that it was under the direct guidance of what they described as the head of the existing authority.

The Secretary-General of the Democratic Current Party, Ghazi al-Shawashi, described the ruling on Marzouki as scandalous with regard to the judiciary and the existing authority that employs the judiciary to settle scores with political opponents, as he put it.

The head of the Ennahda party bloc in Parliament, Imad Khamiri, described the ruling on Marzouki as false and unjust, while the Dignity Coalition announced its unlimited support for Marzouki.

Two opposite readings

For his part, lawyer and former member of the National Constituent Assembly, Rabih Al-Kharaifi, said that the ruling against Al-Marzouki is read from two sides: the legal, which is a normal thing to issue a ruling in absentia, but what is interesting about the ruling is the speed of its issuance, unlike the rest of the cases.

He explained that the case against Marzouki lasted only 4 months, which is unusual in Tunisia, where judicial procedures are slow.

On the political side, Al-Kharaifi believed that it was possible to draw two contradictory conclusions: the first: President Qais Saeed continued to abuse his opponents and put them in prisons, and controlled the judiciary, and the second: that the Tunisian judiciary wanted to embarrass President Saeed by choosing a well-known figure locally and internationally to issue a ruling against her And to show that the judiciary has responded to the pressure that Said is exerting on him.

These developments come at a time when the political crisis in Tunisia is at a standstill. After President Said presented what he considered a road map for the next stage in the country, the controversy over it within the political and union arenas is still ongoing. The idea of ​​an electronic referendum was put forward by President Saeed, noting that amending the constitution is not an urgent matter, and that the union does not support the idea of ​​canceling all of the above.

A spokesman for the Tunisian Labor Union justified his position that the 2014 constitution – despite its shortcomings – included positives that must be built upon, stressing that its amendment must be the product of a deliberate national dialogue, as he put it.

Human Rights Watch also addressed the developments in the human rights scene in Tunisia, denouncing what it described as the increasing prosecutions in the country for voices criticizing the policies and procedures of President Kais Saied.

The organization said – in a statement – that the Tunisian authorities are trying citizens in military and civil courts and imprisoning them, due to public criticism of President Kais Saied and other officials.

“Human Rights” added that the Public Prosecution Office is using repressive laws enacted before the Tunisian revolution, to prosecute Saied’s critics who describe his assumption of exceptional powers since last July 25 as a coup, noting that it reviewed 5 cases related to freedom of expression in Tunisia, to find those serving a prison sentence on charges of Insulting the president, and 3 others are on trial for defaming the army and insulting the president, and the latter is under investigation on similar charges.

The international human rights organization concluded that the public objection in Tunisia to the president and his acquisition of broad powers may lead his owner to trial, adding that silencing opponents is a double risk when the president is preoccupied with concentrating a lot of powers in his hand.

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