Three prominent opponents of Tunisian president say they are under investigation

3 weeks ago 48

TUNIS, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Three prominent opponents of Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Monday that they had received notices from prosecutors that they were under investigation, including one related to assaulting public security and insulting the president.

Days ago Saied had warned that judicial actions must be taken against those who defame the "symbols of the state", considering that as an attack on state security.

The activists are Nejib Chebbi, Reda Belhaj and Ayachi Hammami. Chebbi is the leader of the opposition Salvation Front and has organized regular protests against Saied for months.

The justice ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Saied seized control of executive powers in July 2021 and later dissolved parliament, a step described by his opponents as a coup. Saied's opponents accuse him of imposing a dictatorship and strengthening one-man rule.

The powerful UGTT Union also criticized the president, saying that it rejects his autocratic approach and will not remain silent.

Hammami said a judge opened an investigation at the request of the justice minister on charges of spreading rumors and insulting the president. Hammami last week accused the authorities of fabricating terrorist cases against judges dismissed by Saied last year.

Chebbi said that he would not respond to any lawsuit because the case is politically motivated.

"It is a farce ... it is fabricated political file," Chebbi said.

Reporting by Tarek Amara; editing by Grant McCool

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