Amnesty International has called on the Tunisian authorities to drop “politicized” investigations of lawmakers.
On Friday, a Tunisian military court slapped lawmaker Abdul Latif Al-Alawi with a three-month prison term.
“The Tunisian authorities must end political persecution of members of the parliament and respect, protect, promote, and fulfil their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, in line with the country’s international human rights obligations,” Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement.
The London-based rights group said at least 20 MPs who participated in a plenary session on March 30 “to protest President Kais Saied’s power grab” are facing criminal charges.
Saied denounced the session as a “failed coup attempt” and has dissolved the parliament since.
Close to two dozen parliamentarians have either been summoned or interrogated, Amnesty said.
Morayef slammed the investigations as “politically motivated”, noting that they amounted “to judicial harassment and are an attempt to stifle peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association by members of the parliament that President Saied first suspended and has now dissolved by decree.”
She described the investigations as “deeply worrying repressive moves by Tunisian authorities” which “must be immediately dropped.”
Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis since July 25, 2021 when Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority, in a move decried by opponents as a “coup.”/aa