The Islamist party Ennahda denounces the arrest in Tunisia of its communications officer

Archive – Tunisia’s Parliament Speaker and leader of the Islamist Ennahda party, Rachid Ghanuchi – Chokri Mahjoub/ZUMA Wire/dpa

The Tunisian Islamist party Ennahda has denounced Wednesday that the authorities arrested late Tuesday the head of communication of the formation, Abdelfatá al Taguti, in the middle of the increase of the repression against opponents and activists critical of the president, Kais Saied.

Ennahda has indicated in a message published on its official account on the social network Facebook that Al Taguti was arrested by a patrol of the National Guard and denounced his »unjust arrest. Thus, it expressed its »total solidarity» with the detainee and called for his »immediate release».

»Public opinion knows the failure and impotence of the authorities after 20 months of monopolizing power, a period in which our country has sunk further into economic collapse, social misery and international isolation,» the Tunisian Islamist party stressed.

The authorities have arrested since February several senior party officials, as well as activists, businessmen and journalists, including the director of the private radio station Mosaique FM, the most listened to in the country. Saied has accused these people of an alleged »plot against state security».

The leader of the National Salvation Front, Ahmed Neyib Chebi, recently announced the creation of a network to defend the »political prisoners» and revealed that a media campaign will be launched to »raise awareness nationally and internationally about the arrests and the situation of the detainees».

The opposition, mostly gathered around the National Salvation Front, in which Ennahda is included, has demanded Saied’s resignation, especially after his call for a boycott in the December and January legislative elections resulted in a turnout rate close to ten percent.

Saied arrogated to himself all powers in May 2021 after dissolving the government and suspending the — subsequently dissolved — parliament. Since then, he has promoted a constitutional reform that strengthens the powers of the Presidency and has called elections marked by abstention, a reflection of the scarce popular support for his measures.