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Tunisia: Former Interior Minister in Prison for Conspiracy against State’s Security

Tunisia: Former Interior Minister in Prison for Conspiracy against State’s Security

Saturday, 4 November, 2017 - 09:15
Tunisian Interior Minister Mohamed Najem Gharsalli speaks with journalists during a press conference on March 26, 2015 in Tunis (AFP Photo/Fethi Belaid)

Tunisian former Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli was sentenced to prison on Friday, following investigations on conspiracy against the state’s internal security.

The investigative judge heard Gharsalli on Thursday for long hours on the background of his communication with foreign parties. Tunisian authorities informed, last Monday, Gharsalli that he must return to Tunisia in 48 hours.

On Aug. 23, the investigation judge suggested hearing the testimony of Gharsalli regarding the case of conspiracy against the state’s internal security and high treason against Chafik Jarraya and Saber al-Ojaily.

On another level, security syndicates held several protests and called on all security men to hold red signs to express rage over recurring attacks on security men, especially after the number of deaths since December 2012 reached 66 cases until today under the campaign to fight terrorism.

Security syndicates in Tunisia intensified pressures to enact a law that deters offensives on security men, after the death of an officer due to his injuries resulting from a terrorist attack on Wednesday. Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nacer provoked the syndicates when he said: “It is our duty to protect the security men but it is also our duty to protect human rights and respect the constitution.”

Syndicates granted the parliament 15 days and threatened to lift security protection of members of the parliament and heads of parties starting Nov. 25 in case the law wasn’t enacted. President Beji Caid Essebsi asked Tunisia's Prime Minister Yousuf Chahed to take care of the deceased officer family and to place the bill as a priority.

Observers criticized the back and forth pulling between the parliament and security syndicates – they considered it as an arm twist for the parliament and a revolution on the ministry of interior.

Security expert Noureddine al-Nifer stated to Asharq Al-Awsat that the security men are in need of a law that protects them but the political dilemma is represented in terrorism threats, which haven’t been socially removed yet.

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