The Tunisian authorities have resumed a campaign targeting those wanted from the Ennahda movement, as the political advisor to Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi announced the arrest of the official in charge of the movement’s media office, Abdelfattah Taghouti, to join all the imprisoned leaders of Ennahda who plotted against Tunisia, most notably Ghannouchi, and since President Kais Saied’s decisions of July 25, 2021, which marginalized the movement and vowed to hold it accountable, dozens of Ennahda leaders are in prison on separate charges, most of which are related to terrorism.
In addition to Ghannouchi, who has been issued three indictments against him, being imprisoned, so are former Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh, former Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri, Abdelhamid Jlassi, and Sahbi Ateeq, on various charges, most notably conspiracy against Tunisia and terrorism cases.
Ennahda considers what happened with its media official to be an unjust arrest, calling for the immediate release of Taghouti, considering that “the campaign of arrests launched by the political authority in Tunisia is a scheme to divert public opinion from its impotence and cover up its international isolation.”
It is noteworthy that the Ennahda media official was previously charged with using suspicious pages to incite against state institutions last March, and the investigating judge decided to release him and prevent him from traveling.
At the time, the case included Taghouti and some members of the Ennahda movement’s office in Beja Governorate, including the general secretary in the governorate, and 12 people affiliated with the movement were included in the search list.
The Tunisian state follows a policy of partial tracking with the Brotherhood wing in Tunisia, as the authorities have not adopted a policy of comprehensively listing the movement on terrorist lists, as happened in Egypt, but rather monitoring its members and leaders on separate charges.
Decisiveness is required
Observers supportive of President Saied consider that this policy is not decisive, as the movement has not yet been held accountable for all the accusations leveled against it, most notably the transfer of Tunisian youth to hotbeds of tension, the failure to run the state after 2011, money laundering, as well as the administration of Tunisia for the benefit of regional countries.
Tunisian writer Adel Berini told the Reference that the Tunisian president needs more decisiveness regarding the Ennahda file so that his steps in holding it accountable will have an impact.
Berini considered that the sporadic arrest of leaders would not work in light of the movement’s work abroad and leaving the field to it. He pointed out that what he considered a delay in punishing Ennahda was due to the elements that the movement had planted in all state agencies, in addition to the support it receives from the international community as a representative of “moderate” political Islamism.