Two of the highest-ranking officials of Tunisia’s opposition party have been arrested.
Tunisian police arrested the top two figures of the Ennahda party, who are the main opponents of the current government, according to Reuters.
On the 5th September, Tunisian police apprehended the interim president of the adversarial “Ennahda” party, Mondher Ounissi. Only a few minutes later, the police also arrested Abdel Karim Harouni, who is the head of the Shura Council, the highest-ranking body in Ennahda, Reuters reports.
This comes two days after Harouni was placed under house arrest without charge.
The Islamist rival party was the biggest political party in the parliament until 2021, when President Kais Saied took over.
The latest onset of arrests comes following a series of detentions and imprisonments which were carried out this year of other key members of the opposing party.
After he took all power into his hands in 2021, President Saied has been headlining a crackdown on the Ennahda movement, describing those detained as “terrorists, traitors and criminals”. Before the two recent arrests, since December 2022, at least 17 current or former members of “Ennahda” have already been arrested.
Alongside the string of arrests, the government has also banned any meetings across all Ennahda offices, while police closed all party offices, Reuters reports.
The leader, Rached Ghannouchi, who was also the founder of the party, was arrested by police this year. He was the most high-profile figure and the most prominent critic of President Kais Saied and was the speaker of the elected parliament.
Earlier this year, in April, police detained him at his home on the charge of plotting against the security of the state, the Assosiated Press (AP) reported.
In May 2023, he was sentenced to a year in prison.
The latest arrests come following the publication of audio recordings on social media, which were attributed to Ounissi, in which he was accusing some officials of his party of receiving illegal funds, and of seeking to control Ennahda, according to Reuters.
sources: Reuters/ AP/ AlArabiya