Justice Tunisian announced today the lifting of the house arrest imposed on several political figures and heads of institutions that had been imposed in the last two months after the President of the Republic, Kais Said, assumed all powers and lifted parliamentary immunity.
Among the beneficiaries are the former deputy of the ultra-conservative Al Karama party, Yosri Dali; the independent, Zouahir Makhlouf, accused of sexual harassment; and the former Minister of Transport and leader of the Islamist Ennahda party, Anouar Maarouf, who is charged with an alleged crime of abuse of power.
This decision also affected the former president of the National Instance for the Fight Against Corruption (INLUCC), Chawki Tabib, under house arrest a month earlier for alleged fraud and falsification of documents; charges that represent, he said, a “reckoning” by pressure groups that were attacked in court by the body he presided over for five years.
Days before, the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) denounced a coup against the rule of law due to the multiplication of arbitrary measures ordered by the Ministry of the Interior and which threaten the freedom of movement of citizens.
He also accused the Executive of giving “carte blanche” to the Administrative Court, which rejected the appeals filed against said measures that affect senior officials of institutions, magistrates, businessmen and deputies.
“In a most disturbing 180 degree jurisprudential turnaround, the court appears to openly renounce its role as a safeguard against abuses of power,” the organization said in a press release.
Since last July 25, Said decreed the state of exception, which included the removal of the Prime Minister and the suspension of the Assembly indefinitely, he has frozen almost all of the 2014 Constitution and has taken over the executive powers and legislative in order to “regain social peace.”
While most parties call this initiative a “coup”, other groups consider it to be a “rectification” of the 2011 revolution that ended the decades of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Since then, the justice system has opened numerous investigations and adopted precautionary measures – house arrests and a ban on leaving the country – and several deputies have been tried by military courts; This has unleashed the concern of organizations for the defense of human rights.