In Tunisia, Ennahdha and the postponement of the “terrorism trial”: harsher penalty

The Tunisian judiciary today, Tuesday, postponed the trial of the leader of the Ennahdha movement, Rached Ghannouchi, to the session on May 27th, in a case related to terrorism.

The court decided to postpone the trial due to Rached Ghannouchi‘s absence at today’s hearing, during which charges against the leader of the Islamist Ennahdha movement, related to “glorifying terrorism” and “inciting hatred,” were considered.

Ghannouchi had decided in April 2023 to boycott all sessions of his trial, alleging “lack of guarantees of a fair trial.”

The case, one of whose hearings took place today, began after the public prosecutor’s office near the Tunis court of first instance referred Ghannouchi to the court specialized in terrorism cases, following a complaint filed by a security officer regarding the use of the term “tyrants” in a speech delivered by the Ennahdha leader at the funeral of a Ennahdha movement leader in the south of the country.

During his presence at the funeral of a member of the advisory council of the Ennahdha movement, Farhat Al-Abbar, in the governorate of Tataouine, Ghannouchi had said: “He was courageous, fearing neither the ruler nor the tyrant.”

Ghannouchi had also added that “Al-Abbar was very courageous and did not fear poverty, the ruler, or the tyrant.”

Ghannouchi had been sentenced to one year in prison and a fine in this case last May, but the public prosecutor’s office appealed this decision.

By referring the case to the criminal chamber of the Tunis Court of Appeal, it was decided to uphold Rached Ghannouchi‘s conviction, with a prison sentence of 15 months with three years of administrative supervision and a fine, due to his failure to attend the trial, while the case is still being heard.

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