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Tunisia: MP arrested over ‘illegal’ broadcast of Quran radio station

Saïd Jaziri is the fifth Tunisian MP to be detained following last month's coup
Saïd Jaziri had his refugee status revoked by Canada in 2007 for failing to declare he had a criminal record (AFP)

Saïd Jaziri, a member of Tunisia’s suspended parliament, was arrested on Monday for unlawfully running a radio channel, Tunisian media reported.

According to Business News and Mosaique FM, the public prosecutor of Zaghouan's Court of First Instance authorised the arrest of Jaziri, who is the owner of Radio Quran Karim.

The arrest was based on a complaint filed against him by the Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communication, which accused Jaziri of breaking the seals authorities placed on the door and continuing to broadcast illegally, according to judicial sources speaking to Business News. 

Jaziri, 54, was elected as member of parliament for the Ben Arous constituency in 2019, representing Errahma, a Salafi Islamist party.

He was deported from Canada in 2007 after losing his refugee status for not declaring his criminal record in France, when he first arrived in the country.  

Jaziri is the fifth MP to be arrested since President Kais Saied's suspension of parliament and seizure of executive powers on 25 July, in what his opponents have called "a constitutional coup".

Independent MP Faycal Tebini was also arrested last week over "defamation on social media". 

Prior to that, Maher Zid and Mohamed Affes, both members of the Islamist Al-Karama party, were arrested by Tunisian security services. They were placed in provisional detention in connection with a military investigation.

Their arrest came a day after the detention of an independent MP, Yassine Ayari, who was arrested for calling Saied's decision to suspend parliament and sack the prime minister and other top officials a "military coup".

One of Saied’s controversial measures was to lift the parliamentary immunity of lawmakers, paving the way for their potential prosecution.