Tunisia Issues International Arrest Warrants for High-Profile Individuals Amidst Political Controversy

Afaf Fahchouch
Afaf Fahchouch
3 Min Read

In the latest developments concerning the ongoing political turmoil in Tunisia, the Ministry of Justice has taken a significant step by announcing the issuance of international arrest warrants for 12 individuals suspected of involvement in an alleged plot against the State. This move has further escalated tensions in the North African country, drawing international attention.

Among the individuals targeted by these warrants are former Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and Nadia Akacha, the former Chief of Staff of President Kais Saied. These arrests add to a growing list of dozens of people, including political figures, businesspeople, and journalists, who have been detained and convicted on charges related to a conspiracy against the state, purportedly in connection with foreign entities.

The spokesperson of the counter-terrorism department of the ministry disclosed on Tuesday, September 12, that the prosecutor leading the investigation had issued international arrest warrants against 12 Tunisian nationals who are believed to be residing outside the country.

The list of individuals subject to these warrants includes prominent names like Chahed and Akacha, along with Moadh Khriji, son of former parliament speaker and political leader Rached Ghannouchi, Kamel Guizani, Mustapha Khedher, Maher Zid, Lotfi Zitoun (former minister), Abdelkader Farhat, Adel Daadaa, Chahrazed Akache (journalist), Ali Hlioui, and Rafik Yahya.

Critics of President Kais Saied argue that the alleged plot against the State is, in reality, a politically motivated maneuver aimed at silencing dissenting voices against his decisions. The controversy began on July 25, 2021, when President Saied took unprecedented actions, including the freezing and later dissolution of the parliament, the dismissal of then-Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, and the removal of several judges from their positions.

These measures were widely labeled as a coup by Saied’s opponents, both within Tunisia and on the international stage. Several foreign nations have expressed concerns over the situation, calling for the release of the detained individuals and the restoration of freedom of speech in Tunisia.

The issuance of international arrest warrants raises further questions about the trajectory of Tunisia’s political landscape, as it grapples with internal divisions, legal challenges, and international scrutiny.


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