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Tunisia coup: Former anti-corruption official placed under house arrest

Chawki Tabib, who headed Tunisia's anti-corruption committee until 2020, confirmed his house arrest
Tabib has not been formally charged. The anti-corruption committee building was cordoned off by security forces on 20 August (AFP)

The former head of Tunisia's anti-corruption watchdog was placed under house arrest after security forces took control of the independent body's building. 

Chawki Tabib confirmed on his Facebook page that members of Tunisia's security forces were placed outside his house on Friday. 

"A security patrol stationed in front of my house informed me that a decision was issued to place me under house arrest," said Tabib, who headed the anti-corruption committee from 2016 till 2020. 

"This decision is a violation of my right guaranteed by law and the constitution." 

Tabib was head of the independent authority until he was dismissed by then- prime minister Elyes Fakhfakh in 2020. 

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It remains unclear why Tabib was placed under house arrest or what charges were levied against him. 

Security forces had also cordoned off the headquarters of the anti-corruption committee and told its employees to vacate the building. 

His house arrest comes after President Kais Saied in late July dismissed the prime minister, Hichem Mechichi, suspended the country's parliament and lifted the immunity of the 217 MPs who make up the Tunisian lower house. 

Despite facing criticism from Saied's opponents, who labelled his move as a coup, the Tunisian president has found widespread support amongst the Tunisian public, according to recent polls. 

Last week Tunisia banned 12 officials from leaving the country, including a former minister, on suspicion of corruption in the phosphate sector.

Earlier this month, Tunisia's interior ministry also placed Anouar Maarouf, a senior official in the Ennahda party, under house arrest, according to Reuters and several local media outlets.

Maarouf is a former minister of communications technology and the first Ennahda official to be placed under house arrest since Saied's power grab. 

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