Al-Buhairi’s wife reveals to Al-Jazeera Net the truth of his health condition and the circumstances of his kidnapping and sends a message to Qais Saeed

Tunisia – Saida Al-Akrimi, the wife of the leader of the Ennahda movement, Noureddine Al-Behairi, is on hunger strike in the hospital where he lies between life and death. In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera Net, she reveals the truth of his health condition and the circumstances of his kidnapping, and what is rumored about the participation of foreign parties in the kidnapping, and responds to “the two molesters” in the situation of her husband.

  • If we talk about the health status of Mr. Nour El Din El Behairy,

I will not tell you a secret, my husband’s situation is very critical and we fear for his life, due to the presence of new health complications as a result of his insistence on completing the brutal hunger strike and medicine, in protest against his kidnapping and detention without any legal justification or legal basis. Doctors also asked us to carry out a group of Tests, and we did them outside the hospital because they were unable to do so.

A picture of Al-Buhairi’s wife in front of the resuscitation department, where he lies (Al-Jazeera Net)
  • President Qais Saeed stated that all medical precautions have been provided to everyone who wanted to go on hunger strike, and that it was suggested that your husband be transferred to the military hospital, where there are advanced medical capabilities that are not available in other hospitals. What is your comment on that?

To be honest, I am not aware that it has been proposed to transfer my husband to the military hospital in the capital, and the doctors at the Habib Hospital in Bougatfa in Bizerte governorate are following up the health situation with all responsibility, but his health is deteriorating day after day, due to his brutal strike on food and medicine, and I fear for his life.

  • There are those who wonder as long as you are now by his side with some of your sons, why don’t you convince him to call off his strike in order to preserve his life and engage in other forms of protest that are less harmful to him?

I had a struggle with the security services to be able to enter my husband and see him in the hospital, me and my sons. I asked him, and even insisted, to call off his hunger strike or even just drink water and take medicine, but he refused.

  • If we go back a little to the details of the kidnapping of your husband in front of his house and take him to an unknown destination, did he tell you about the details in his first meeting with him?

Fortunately, I witnessed his kidnapping in front of our house, or else things would have taken a different turn. According to what he told me of the details after that, he was put in a black four-wheel drive car followed by two cars of the same type and color, and his destination was diverted to Bizerte, as he found out at the time.

  • Was he talked to or questioned on the way, and what is the truth behind the rumors about the assault on him?

To be honest, they did not speak to him or assault him, except for the physical assault he was subjected to during the kidnapping process in front of the house.

  • Where was he taken?

He told me that he was taken to the city of a “beautiful house” and taken to an abandoned warehouse where he remained for 4 hours, after which his destination was transferred to the guard center in the same city, where the head of the center informed him of the decision to put him under house arrest. The security officer replied that he did not have any documents, and that he was asked to do so orally.
My husband also submitted a request to the head of the center to register a complaint of kidnapping by unknown persons against him, but his request was also rejected.
From the security station, my husband was driven in a car that blocks the outside view toward a forest where he said he heard dogs barking and wolves howling, and put in an abandoned house with a nearly empty room, with nothing but a worn-out mattress on a concrete corner.

  • There is a circulating talk that among the participants in your husband’s kidnapping are foreign figures.. Did he confirm that to you?

What my husband revealed to me was that there were bearded people in the team that kidnapped him, but he did not confirm to me whether they were foreigners or not, and I am here to express my astonishment because – in general – the security personnel in Tunisia do not have beards.

  • Was he given food and water, especially since he spent the whole night there?

My husband told them that he is on hunger strike, and that he decided to go on a brutal hunger strike, in protest of his kidnapping and detention without any justification, and his health deteriorated after that, so a doctor was brought in who indicated that he should be urgently transferred to the hospital and that his life was in danger.

  • There are opponents of Al-Nahda and Al-Buhairi who consider that you are taking advantage of your husband’s health condition to embarrass President Qais Saeed. What do you think?

Who made the decision to kidnap my husband? And who made him reach this deteriorating health condition? If President Kais Saied was not aware of all this, then how disappointed he is, the Minister of the Interior said “with the greatness of his tongue” that he personally called the governor of Bizerte after the arrest and asked him to take care of my husband, “he rejoices in him.”

  • In your opinion, why was your husband targeted, without other political figures, in this operation?

I am certain that since the 25th of July, President Qais Saeed launched a campaign targeting Noureddine Al-Buhairi, and I wonder here as long as he has data and evidence that condemn my husband, why did he not take it to the judiciary and the courts, instead of using kidnapping methods, and then searching for him for a case, and this is particular danger.

  • What is the truth about what some media personalities have revealed that the dean of lawyers when he visited your husband was forced to blindfold him as a precautionary measure taken by the security authorities?

To be honest, I am not aware of this, and what the Brigadier General revealed to me personally was that he was transported by car from the city of “Beautiful Home” to see my husband after his kidnapping, and that he had taken a long way to reach him.

Noureddine El Beheiry, political advisor to the Tunisian governmentAl-Buhairi’s wife confirmed that he suffers from serious health complications as a result of his insistence on continuing the hunger strike (Al-Jazeera)
  • And you are now engaged in a hunger strike in the hospital, in protest of your husband’s condition. There are calls from the Al-Buhairi Defense Committee and your fellow lawyers to stop that?

I am still determined to continue the hunger strike, in the midst of a very heavy security presence, even inside the intensive care unit where my husband is lying, and I will not leave the place without him.

  • Finally, what is your message to President Kais Saied?

I hope that the president will stop his method of incitement, demonization, and threats against his opponents, and that he will work towards grouping, not discrimination. And honestly, the country can no longer stand it, as there are other more urgent priorities, foremost of which is the living situation of the Tunisian citizen.

  • In parallel with the campaign of human rights solidarity and broad popular sympathy with your husband, there are also opponents of Al-Buhairi and opponents of Al-Nahda who showed schadenfreude… What do you say to them?

I tell them, may God heal you..God bless you.

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