Tunisia is ex-PM Jebali arrested

HASNA ” Hamadi Jebali, the former prime minister of Tunisia, poses for a photo after he announced his intention to run for president of the country in the 2019 elections.

Ex-prime minister Hamadi Jebali, a former Ennahdha party leader who is the current president’s archenemy, was taken into custody by Tunisian police on Thursday, Jebali’s lawyer said.

No reason was given for Jebali’s detention, according to him.

As Zied Taher put it, “The police seized Mr. Jebali in his car in Soussa, then transported him to Tunis.”

Taher claims that Jebali has been the subject of an investigation into the activities of his boiler factory in Soussa, a coastal city south of the capital, for more than a month.

Civil society and Saied’s detractors are alarmed by the arrest, fearing a return to the authoritarianism of former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was toppled in a revolution in 2011.

Saied dissolved parliament after sacking the government and assuming broad powers last July, and Ennahdha was the clear leader.

Mosaique FM, a private radio station, reported that anti-terrorist police had remanded Jebali in custody “on suspicion of money laundering.”

From December 2011, a year after the revolution began in Tunisia, until his resignation in early 2013, following the assassination of leftist activist Chokri Belaid, Jebali served as prime minister.

In 2014, he left Ennahdha and quit politics.

Anti-Islamism repression in Libya accelerated under Ben Ali, who sentenced Jebali to 16 years in prison.

In 2006, he was granted early release after serving most of his sentence in solitary confinement.