Tunisian military court orders release of two opposition politicians – lawyer | world news

TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s military court has freed Seifeddine Makhlouf, leader of the conservative Karama party, and another opposition figure, his lawyer said on Monday, amid human rights concerns since the rise to power of President Kais Saied last year.

Saied sacked the North African country’s prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed full power on July 25, a move described by Tunisia’s opposition as a coup.

Since Saied’s intervention, several senior politicians and business leaders have been arrested or prosecuted, many of them for corruption or defamation. Makhlouf and Karama party member Nidal Saudi were arrested in September last year and charged with assaulting police officers.

“The public prosecutor asked the court to renew their imprisonment, but the military court refused the request and therefore released them,” Anouar Awled Ali told Reuters.

Human rights groups have criticized some of the arrests and the use of military courts to hear cases.

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Saied vowed to defend the rights and freedoms won in Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, which ushered in democracy and sparked the “Arab Spring” uprisings across the region.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Ahmad Elhamy; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Alexander Smith)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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