What is the story of the Tunisian passports that Al-Behairi accused of illegally giving?

Tunisia- Noureddine El-Beheiry, Vice President of Ennahda Movement, continues his hunger strike in a hospital in Bizerte governorate in protest against his placement under house arrest, at a time when the defense team asserts that the charges brought by the Minister of the Interior against their client are fabricated and ridiculous, and the facts of some of them date back to the eighties of the last century.

A few days ago, Interior Minister Tawfiq Sharaf El-Din revealed, during a press conference, the charges against placing Al-Buhairi and another person under house arrest, considering that they are related to serious “terrorism” suspicions and the subject of forensic research in relation to illegally submitting nationality certificates, passports and identity cards.

The minister spoke about the delivery of a first passport on December 10, 1984, from the Tunisian embassy in Vienna, and another on July 19, 1982, stressing that research confirmed the illegal extraction of these two passports.

Although the minister did not reveal the identities of the two people who illegally received Tunisian passports, activists and members of the Buhairi defense team speculated that the two leaders in the Muslim Brotherhood were meant: the Egyptian Youssef Nada and the Syrian Ali Ghaleb Hemmat.

Activists widely circulated old statements by Brotherhood leader Youssef Nada during his hosting of the “Witness to the Age” program broadcast on Al-Jazeera, in which he talked about being granted a Tunisian passport by the late President Habib Bourguiba.

Nada said, “Among the words that I received from Tunisia is that the Tunisian nationality that I hold is doubtful, but thank God the decision of the Tunisian Ministry of Justice I still keep, and consular certificates proving the opposite of the accusation.”

malicious and fabricated

Samir bin Omar, a lawyer and a member of the defense team for Al-Buhairi, considered in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net that the charges brought against his client were “massive and fabricated and have no legal or judicial basis, and they entered the framework of a political battle to liquidate the president’s opponents.”

Ben Omar expressed his astonishment at the minister’s reliance on an incident dating back to the eighties of the last century in relation to the late President Habib Bourguiba granting Tunisian passports to leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its use as a justification for kidnapping the deputy, endangering his life and placing him under house arrest.

He stressed that the minister wanted to move the “empty” file against Al-Buhairi, who took over the portfolio of the Ministry of Justice after the 2011 elections, noting that the judiciary had previously pledged to the issue of passports and the granting of citizenship certificates, which was confirmed by the Public Prosecution in its response to the Minister of Interior’s statements.

In a statement, the Tunis Public Prosecution expressed its “astonishment” at what was said by Interior Minister Tawfiq Charafeddine regarding the disruption of judicial procedures related to granting foreigners Tunisian passports and identity certificates.

The Public Prosecution of the Court of First Instance indicated that it dealt with all seriousness and according to the legally established procedures with the subject of the current case, and arranged the legal implications of opening an investigative research within a deadline not exceeding 4 days from the date of its receipt of the supplementary report issued by the Sub-Department of Research in Terrorism Crimes, Organized Crimes and Safety national territory.

justification for arrest

And about what was attributed to an intermarriage relationship between Brotherhood leader Youssef Nada and the son of the head of the Ennahda movement Rashid Ghannouchi, Rafik Abdel Salam, the former foreign minister and Ghannouchi’s son-in-law, denied the matter in a statement to Al Jazeera Net.

He considered that the issue of granting citizenship and passports to Brotherhood leaders dates back to the period of Bourguiba’s rule due to the special relationship that he had with some influential figures from the Arab Mashreq.

He stressed that the Interior Ministry’s directing such accusations against Noureddine Al-Buhairi is evidence of its confusion and desire to find justifications for his arrest, even if it was necessary to go back to previous decades.

The former foreign minister indicated that the issue of granting citizenship has nothing to do with the Ministry of Justice, and that the authority authorized to do so is the Border and Foreigners Department of the Ministry of Interior, at a time when the President of the Republic was entrusted with the task of signing decisions granting citizenship and passports.

In a statement today, Wednesday, the Ennahda Movement renewed its call for the authorities to release its leader, Noureddine El-Behairy, holding the President of the Republic and the Minister of the Interior responsible for his physical safety, at a time when the Defense Authority confirmed the deterioration of his client’s health condition and that he was lying “between life and death.”

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