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Detained Tunisia ex-minister ‘refusing meals, medicine’

TUNIS: Tunisia’s detained former justice minister Noureddine Bhiri is refusing meals or medicine after his switch to medical institution, a member of a delegation that visited him informed AFP the day prior to this. Bhiri, deputy president of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha celebration, which President Kais Saied perspectives as an enemy, was once arrested by way of plainclothes officials Friday and his whereabouts have been to begin with unknown. Ennahdha had performed a central position in Tunisia politics till an influence seize by way of President Kais Saied remaining 12 months.

Tunisia was once the one democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring revolts of a decade in the past, however civil society teams and Saied’s warring parties have expressed worry of a slide again to authoritarianism a decade after the revolution that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. On Sunday activists and a former Ennahdha legislator mentioned Bhiri was once in a crucial situation and going through loss of life.

However the supply informed AFP that Bhiri, 63, is “no longer in crucial situation in the interim”. The supply, asking to not be named, informed AFP {that a} joint workforce from Tunisia’s unbiased anti-torture team INPT and the United International locations rights fee visited Bhiri at medical institution within the northern the town of Bizerte on Sunday. He’s “vigorous and lucid”, and being saved below shut remark in a non-public room of the medical institution’s cardiology ward.

Since Friday, alternatively, Bhiri has “refused to take any meals or medicine, prompting his switch to medical institution” two days later, the supply mentioned. Samir Dilou, a legal professional and ex-Ennahdha MP, condemned Bhiri’s arrest as “political” and an abuse of the justice gadget.

‘Kidnapping’ rate

He informed a Tunis information convention that he’s accommodation a “kidnapping” rate in opposition to Saied and Internal Minister Taoufik Charfeddine. Bhiri’s spouse, Saida Akremi, additionally a legal professional, informed newshounds he had suffered “a middle assault”, and that she was once being denied get entry to to him as a result of she refused to signal paperwork as demanded by way of safety products and services. Mondher Ounissi, a health care provider and member of Ennahdha’s government bureau, mentioned Sunday that Bhiri suffers from a number of continual diseases, together with diabetes and high blood pressure.

He has been “disadvantaged of his medicine” and “his lifestyles is threatened”, Ounissi mentioned, including that Bhiri typically takes 16 drugs an afternoon. The internal ministry on Friday mentioned that two folks were ordered below space arrest, with out figuring out them. It mentioned the transfer was once a “safety measure dictated by way of the wish to keep nationwide safety”.

The anti-torture team INPT has recognized the second one particular person detained as Fathi Baldi, a former internal ministry reputable. The president “bears complete duty for the lifetime of Mr Bhiri”, the anti-Saied team “Electorate in opposition to the coup” mentioned Sunday on Twitter. It mentioned he were “rushed to the medical institution in an excessively severe situation”. Saied on July 25 sacked the Ennahdha-supported executive and suspended parliament, presenting himself as without equal interpreter of the charter. He later took steps to rule by way of decree, and in early December vowed to press on with reforms to the political gadget. – AFP



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