Detained Tunisia ex-minister suspected of ‘terrorism’

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Detained Tunisian ex-justice minister Noureddine Bhiri of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, who is refusing food or medication after his transfer to hospital, is suspected of “terrorism”, the interior minister said Monday.

Bhiri, deputy president of Ennahdha — viewed by President Kais Saied as an enemy — was arrested by plainclothes officers Friday and his whereabouts were initially unknown.

Ennahdha had played a central role in Tunisian politics until a power grab by President Kais Saied last year.

Tunisia was the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring revolts of a decade ago, but civil society groups and Saied’s opponents have expressed fear of a slide back to authoritarianism a decade after the revolution that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

“There were fears of acts of terrorism targeting the country’s security and we had to act,” Interior Minister…

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