Tunisia.. Al-Buhairi’s lawyers accuse the Minister of Interior of fabricating and calling for an investigation into the manner and legality of his arrest
The defense team, on behalf of Noureddine El Beheiry, Vice President of the Tunisian Ennahda Movement, accused Interior Minister Tawfiq Sharaf El-Din of fabrication after he spoke about suspicions of terrorism against her client, and said that they can only be proven through a fair trial.
For its part, the Ennahda Parliamentary Bloc expressed its astonishment at the type of accusations leveled at Al-Buhairi, while jurists demanded an investigation into the method and legality of stopping him.
Commenting on what he described as the charges against his client, Abdel Razzaq Al-Kilani, head of the Buhairi Defense Authority, said that Tunisia has entered the stage of “fabricating” the files, as he put it.
In a radio statement, the defense chief considered that the accusations made by the Minister of Interior could only be proven through a fair trial, stressing that they would appeal the house arrest decision to the Administrative Court.
Astonishment and claims
For its part, the Ennahda parliamentary bloc expressed its astonishment at the accusations leveled by the Minister of Interior for Deputy Al-Buhairi.
The bloc added in a statement that the disruption of the Assembly of the People’s Representatives opened to spoiling the gathering of powers and restoring the disadvantages of individual rule, as it put it. She indicated that what the Minister of Interior said regarding the charges against al-Buhairi remains within the jurisdiction of the judiciary only.
In turn, the head of the Tunisian League for the Defense of Human Rights, Jamal Moslem, called on the Ministry of the Interior to clarify the method of arresting Al-Buhairi, in order to prevent limiting the account provided by his wife, in which she spoke of kidnapping, detention and enforced disappearance.
Moslem stressed, in a statement to the Tunisian News Agency, that the association supports the disclosure of the truth to public opinion, and the accountability of the aggressors, stressing that there is no room to bypass the law related to arrest, which provides the accused with several guarantees, as he put it.
In a similar situation, the Public Prosecution at the Court of First Instance expressed its astonishment at the Interior Minister’s statements regarding the disruption of its procedures regarding the investigation into the incident of a Syrian and his wife obtaining Tunisian identity documents during the period of Al-Buhairi’s supervision of the Ministry of Justice, and Ali Al-Arayedh over the Interior.
The court’s liaison office indicated, in a statement, that the Public Prosecution dealt with all seriousness, in accordance with legal procedures, and opened an investigation into the case since last December 24, and that research on it is still ongoing.
For his part, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Labor Union, Samir Al-Shafi, called for the necessity of applying justice and securing legal aspects in opening files that targeted the security and stability of the country.
Al-Shifi said, in a radio statement on the sidelines of the organization’s administrative board meeting, that the labor union’s position is principled in opening all files and holding those involved accountable, within the framework of the law and legitimacy.
Sharaf El-Din said, on Monday, that Al-Buhairi’s placement under house arrest was caused by “issuing passports to people illegally and a serious suspicion of terrorism,” after Al-Buhairi’s defense team said it considered him in a case of kidnapping and filed a complaint against the country’s President Qais Saeed and the Minister of Interior.
The minister added, in a press conference, that the decision to house arrest that was taken against Al-Buhairi, 63, was based on legal grounds and based on suspicions related to terrorism, and said that accordingly a decision was taken to place two people under house arrest on December 30 last. .
Last Friday, the authorities arrested Al-Buhairi, who previously held the position of Minister of Justice between 2011 and 2013, and the Ministry of Interior attributed this procedure to reasons that it said were related to the protection of security and public order, in accordance with the emergency provisions in force since 2015.
Also under house arrest is the security official, Fathi Al-Baladi, who in 2011 worked as an advisor to the former Minister of the Interior, Ali Al-Arayedh, and is also a leader in the Ennahda movement.
Hours before the Interior Minister’s conference, Al-Buhairi’s defense team said, in a press conference on Monday, that it did not know his legal status and considered him in a case of “kidnapping,” while a human rights delegation said that he had visited Al-Buhairi in the hospital and that he had started a hunger strike.
And the Ennahda movement said last Friday that elements in civilian clothes had kidnapped Al-Buhairi in front of his house and taken him to an unknown destination after his wife, lawyer Saeeda Al-Akrimi, who was with him, had been violently abused.
A number of lawyers continue their sit-in to protest what they described as the kidnapping and illegal detention of El-Beheiry.
It is noteworthy that Al-Buhairi is the first senior official in the Ennahda movement to be detained by security since President Said dissolved parliament and took control of the governing authorities in late July, in a move described by Ennahda and other parties as a “coup.”
Since last July 25, the country has been witnessing a political crisis against the backdrop of exceptional measures taken by President Saeed, most notably the freezing of Parliament’s competencies, the lifting of immunity from its deputies, the abolition of the constitutionality monitoring body, the issuance of legislation by presidential decrees, the dismissal of the prime minister, and the appointment of a new prime minister.