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Opposition headquarters in Tunisia shut down following leader Ghannouchi’s arrest


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A senior party official said that the Tunisian authorities closed the headquarters of the opposition Ennahda party, on Tuesday, a day after the arrest of its leader, Rashid Ghannouchi.

“A police unit appeared at the party’s headquarters (in Tunis) and ordered everyone to leave before closing it,” said Riad al-Shuaibi.

“The police also closed other offices of the party in other parts of the country and prevented any meeting in these buildings,” he told AFP.

The move came after veteran Ennahda party leader Ghannouchi was arrested at his home in the capital, Tunis, and is the latest in a series of detained opposition figures.

Ennahda was the largest party in the Tunisian parliament before President Kais Saied dissolved the parliament in July 2021.

Party deputy leader Mondher Lounissi told a news conference late Monday that Ghannouchi was taken to a police barracks for questioning and that his lawyers were not allowed to attend.

His arrest came after media reports said that Tunisia would be threatened with “civil war” if political Islam, whose party originated there, was eradicated.

A source in the Ministry of Interior, quoting Tunisian media, confirmed that Ghannouchi’s arrest is linked to these statements.

Since early February, authorities in the North African country have arrested more than 20 dissidents and political figures.

Among them were politicians, former ministers, businessmen, trade unionists and the owner of Tunisia’s largest radio station, Mosaique FM.

Saeed, 65, claims that the detainees are “terrorists” involved in a “conspiracy against state security”.

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