The issue of “deporting Tunisians to hotbeds of tension” has resurfaced after the appearance of the head of the brotherhood Ennahda party, Rached Ghannouchi, and his deputy, Ali Al-Arayed, today, Monday, before the anti-terror police department in Tunisia.
The summoning of Ghannouchi and Al-Arayed came days after the arrest of a member of the Shura Council of the Ennahda Movement, Habib El-Louz, by the National Unit for Research in Terrorism Crimes, to investigate the same case.
Mesdi explained – in media statements – that she had submitted documents and evidence proving “the involvement of leaders from the Ennahda movement in this case.”
In December 2021, former parliamentarian from the Nidaa Tounes party, Fatima Mesdi, submitted a complaint to the military court regarding “transport networks to hotbeds of tension”, which referred the file to the judicial pole of terrorism “because it includes civilians and military personnel.”
This case comes in a tense political climate in Tunisia since President Kais Saied announced on July 25, 2021 exceptional measures, according to which he dismissed the government, appointed others, and dissolved Parliament and the Supreme Judicial Council, followed by the issuance of decrees, a new constitution and an electoral law.
Riad Al-Shuaibi, political advisor to the head of the Ennahda movement, explained to Al-Jazeera Net that the two summonses received by Ghannouchi and Al-Arid included a major procedural defect by not including the reason for the summons, and considered that this was “a digestion of the right of defense and those concerned with the summons.”
He added that lawyers were prevented from entering with Al-Areed into the investigation; What prompted him to refrain from answering police questions, who withdrew after Ghannouchi’s presence and allowed the defense to accompany them, and then they were investigated in the security area of Bouchoucha by the Anti-Terrorism Squad “in an unfounded case that does not carry serious charges against them.”
In response to this point, legal specialist Adam Makrani clarifies that the text of the summons to appear before the designated security authorities states the date of the appearance and the party to which it will appear, and that the disclosure of the subject of the research and the reason for the summons takes place as soon as the persons concerned arrive and appear before the security party.
He added, according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, as revised in 2016, the person concerned with the summons can seek the assistance of a defense attorney, who in turn can seek advice from the public prosecutor in the event that he finds that he has violated the procedures and violated the guarantees of fair trials; Which is at the heart of the role of a lawyer.
Al-Shuaibi affirms that “the case is malicious, presented by one of their political opponents, known for their exclusionary tendency against the Ennahda movement, and that the political will that is currently in the state and which wants to settle its accounts with the movement and with the stage of the democratic transition, has tried two symbols of this transition over the past 10 years in an attempt to To undercut that stage and accuse it of being a stage of failure and terrorism, which is not true.”
In his opinion, the Ennahda movement is being targeted today by the political authority because of its stances rejecting the coup and demanding the resumption of the democratic process.
He revealed close regional moves to demand a return to the democratic path, stressing that the problem in Tunisia today is no longer only political, because the severe economic and social crisis that the country is going through has exacerbated the situation, which “clearly shows the failure of the current authority and its inability to provide the necessary solutions to the problems of Tunisians.”
In turn, lawyer and political activist Samir Dilo stated that the judiciary did not undertake what is known as the “export networks case” and that it is just preliminary research by a security force, “but the nature of the media coverage, the lack of respect for the confidentiality of the investigation, the presumption of innocence, and the targeting of a specific party refer to it as a purely political issue.”
Political backgrounds and liquidation of opponents
Dilo confirmed to Al Jazeera Net that the background of the case is political due to the absence of attributed actions, and the reliance only on mere data on Facebook, and allegations from political opponents, “especially since the political circumstance does not allow for a fair trial due to the daily pressures exerted by the authority on the judiciary.”
Delo also spoke of the authority’s attempt to divert attention from the political situation, especially the deteriorating economic and social situation in the country.
He believes that Ennahda is not the only one targeted, but rather “all opponents of Said’s coup, who seeks to pave the way for his individual rule through a legal arsenal through the constitution that he wrote alone, the electoral law that he put away from any participatory approach, and the decree on combating crimes related to information and communication systems to silence mouths.” “.
Dilo stressed that the country is heading towards a scene without politics and parties through an electoral law that abolished the role of women and parties and targeted all political actors in an effort to silence them by law.
For his part, political and human rights activist Karim Abdel Salam believes that the issue of “export networks” is not legal and that it is political to hold political opponents to account and liquidate them.
Although he blamed the Ennahda movement for part of the responsibility for the situation in Tunisia, Abdel Salam confirmed – in his speech to Al Jazeera Net – that opening this issue comes within the framework of the policy of “distracting the public from the living situation… and the upcoming social movements, and that the president is trying to derive his presence from hostility to the Renaissance movement.
Reveal the truth
On the other hand, Somaya Rajab, a researcher in political communication, stresses the importance of these summonses to complete the features of the investigation into a file “which is considered one of the most dangerous files on Tunisian national security, due to the news reported in the media about the return of fighters who were in Syria to Tunisia.”
She added to that “one of the files that most harmed the country’s image abroad, and we must discover the truth of what happened and publish these facts to public opinion.”
Rajab believes that the movement’s responses are “normal because it has been the ruling party for 10 years, and in the eyes of Tunisian public opinion it is the first responsible for the deportation file, and that it is also natural to claim that the Tunisian authorities are looking to distract public opinion from economic and social conditions, but this will not change the reality of its responsibility.” about what happened in the past.