Tunisian Court Jails Prominent Opposition Lawyer

 Tunisian lawyer Sonia Dahmani (social media)
 Tunisian lawyer Sonia Dahmani (social media)
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Tunisian Court Jails Prominent Opposition Lawyer

 Tunisian lawyer Sonia Dahmani (social media)
 Tunisian lawyer Sonia Dahmani (social media)

A Tunisian court on Saturday sentenced Sonia Dahmani, a prominent Tunisian lawyer known for her criticism of President Kais Saied, to one year in prison.
The court ruling reinforces opposition concerns that critical voices will continue to be targeted ahead of a presidential election on Oct. 6.
“The one-year prison sentence is unjust and confirms the targeting of free speech,” Dahmani's lawyer Sami Ben Ghazi told Reuters.
Dahmani was arrested in May after appearing on a television program in which she said Tunisia is a country where life is not pleasant.
Lotfi Mraihi, leader of the opposition Republican Union Party, who has announced his intention to run in the presidential election, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of money laundering.
Opposition parties, many of whose leaders are in prison, have accused Saied's government of exerting pressure on the judiciary to target his election rivals.
They say fair and credible elections cannot be held unless imprisoned politicians are released and the media is allowed to operate without pressure from the government.
On Friday, the Journalists Syndicate branch of the official news agency complained that a report about Mondher Znaidi announcing his candidature for Tunisia’s presidential election, was removed from the news bulletin. The Syndicate also complained about a decision not to cover a press conference held by the Free Constitutional Party.
Abir Moussi, the leader of the Free Constitutional Party and a prominent candidate, has been in prison since October 2023 on charges of harming public security.
Some potential candidates, including Safi Saeed, Mondher Znaidi, Nizar Chaari and Abd Ellatif Mekki, are facing prosecution for alleged crimes such as fraud and money laundering.
Saied, a retired law professor who was elected president in 2019, has not officially announced his candidacy to stand for a second term. Last year he said he will not hand power to what he called non-patriots.
In 2021, Saied dissolved parliament and began ruling by decree in a move that the opposition described as a coup. Saied said his steps were legal and necessary to end years of rampant corruption among the political elite.



Israel Takes Advantage of Hezbollah’s Security Gap to Carry Out Assassinations

Lebanese citizens remove the debris of the car of a leader of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya who was targeted by Israel in eastern Lebanon. (AFP)
Lebanese citizens remove the debris of the car of a leader of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya who was targeted by Israel in eastern Lebanon. (AFP)
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Israel Takes Advantage of Hezbollah’s Security Gap to Carry Out Assassinations

Lebanese citizens remove the debris of the car of a leader of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya who was targeted by Israel in eastern Lebanon. (AFP)
Lebanese citizens remove the debris of the car of a leader of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya who was targeted by Israel in eastern Lebanon. (AFP)

The ongoing Israeli assassinations of Hezbollah fighters and leaders highlight a security and technological gap that the party has been unable to address.
On Thursday morning, Israeli drones killed a leader in Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya, Mohammad Hamid Jabara from the town of Qaraoun, in a raid on the town of Gaza in the Bekaa region. Hours later, a member of Hezbollah was killed in an attack on his vehicle, shortly after he had left his mother’s house in the town of Jabal al-Butm in the South. The party mourned him in the afternoon.
Mostafa Asaad, a researcher in military and strategic affairs, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the two assassinations were part of a long series of Israeli attacks against leaders of Hezbollah, Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, and the Hamas movement, throughout southern and eastern Lebanon.
But he added that the assassinations “are not linked to a political dimension”, although their pace decreases at times and intensifies at others. They are rather “a purely military calculation”, he said.
Asaad stressed that Hezbollah has not yet been able to “stop the breaches despite the encrypted transmission devices it uses, which are mostly Iranian devices developed using Chinese, Russian and North Korean models.”
Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya, which is close to the Hamas movement, was the target of several Israeli strikes. On June 22, the Israeli army killed a member whom it said was responsible for supplying weapons to his faction and its ally, the Hamas movement. The faction had mourned nine of its members, including senior officials, since the start of the escalation.
In a statement, the Israeli army said that it killed Mohammad Jabara, who has links with the Hamas organization in Lebanon and was assigned to promote and implement terrorist plans and launch operations from Lebanon towards Israeli territory, some of which in cooperation with Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya.
In the afternoon, Hezbollah mourned Hassan Muhanna, who was targeted by an Israeli drone in the Butm Mountains. Local media reported that a drone attacked his vehicle, before he got out of the car and hid among the trees, where he was hit by another missile that killed him.
On the other hand, Hezbollah announced that it had bombed the spy equipment at the Hadab Yarin site with appropriate weapons, which led to its destruction.
The Israeli army said that it carried out a raid on Hezbollah’s military infrastructure in the Ain al-Tineh area, and another attack on two of the party’s military sites in Qusayra and Maryamin.