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Tunisia: Former prime minister Jebali arrested after home raid

Around 20 security officers searched ex-premier's home and detains him without reason, according to wife
Hamadi Jebali, former Tunisian prime minister, is pictured in the capital Tunis on 6 August 2019 (AFP)
Hamadi Jebali, former Tunisian prime minister, is pictured in the capital Tunis on 6 August 2019 (AFP)

Hamadi Jebali, the former Tunisian prime minister, has been arrested following a raid on his home in the city of Sousse, his wife said on Monday. 

Wahida al-Jabali told Arabi21 that around 20 Tunisian security officers raided their family home with a warrant from the public prosecution and took her husband, but did not provide a reason. 

She added to Anadolu Agency that her husband had recently undergone heart surgery, and that she held Tunisian authorities responsible for his health. 

Tunisian officials did not immediately comment on the arrest. 

Jebali's lawyer told local media that Jabali had been taken to be interrogated in El Aouina, a suburb of the capital Tunis. 

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The 74-year-old served as Tunisia's prime minister between December 2011 and March 2013, and was a leading figure in the Ennahda party.

He served as Ennahda's secretary-general for over 30 years, before leaving the party in 2014. 

Campaign of detentions

In June last year, Jebali was briefly detained on suspicion of money laundering. Government critics dismissed the arrest as part of a campaign to settle political scores. 

President Kais Saied unilaterally suspended parliament and dissolved the government in July 2021, a move he marketed as a step towards "true democracy", involving a clean break with the political class, institutions and "corrupt elites".

His critics have branded the power grab as a coup.

Saied's power grab ushered in a campaign of detentions that has swept through the political opposition and the judiciary.

Last week, Tunisian authorities placed Abdel Karim Harouni, a senior member of Ennahda, under house arrest without providing a reason. 

Earlier this year, authorities also arrested Ennahda party leader Rached Ghannouchi, who is also one of the most outspoken critics of Saied. 

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