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Yassine Ayari’s party announced that the Tunisian deputy, critical of the head of state, was arrested by security forces on Friday. The latter had been prosecuted since 2017 for “defamation and contempt of the military institution” and was sentenced in 2018 to three months in prison.
The Tunisian political movement Hope and Work announced Friday, July 30, that MP Yassine Ayari had been arrested during the day by security forces. According to the Tunisian authorities, his arrest, when he had just denounced on social networks a “military coup” of President Kaïs Saïed, is linked to a conviction dating back to 2018 for “defamation and contempt of the military institution “.
Independent deputy and ex-blogger, Yassine Ayari has been convicted several times in recent years for publications on social networks, including criticism of the army. Launched in 2019, his political movement announced in a brief statement his arrest, according to him by presidential security agents without the presentation of a judicial order.
Contacted by AFP, the communication service of the Presidency of the Republic and the spokesperson for the prosecution were unreachable.
In a Facebook post, his wife claimed that her husband had been violently arrested.
This arrest comes five days after President Kaïs Saïed froze Parliament for 30 days, lifted the immunity of all MPs and sacked Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi.
Tunisia “is a country of rights, freedoms and the Constitution”, assured President Saïed on Friday during a meeting with journalists from the New York Times after one of them was briefly arrested in a report. police station for an authorization issue.
“No fear about freedom of expression (…), it is not at my age that I will start a new stage based on dictatorship. I hate dictatorship and I despise it,” he said. he still added.
Kaïs Saïed affirmed that there had been arrests only of those who are being prosecuted by the justice system.
“It’s a military coup,” Yassine Ayari, known for his sharp positions, wrote on his Facebook page. For him, the president’s measures represent “a reversal of the Constitution and the social pact by using the army”.
Yassine Ayari, 30, a former blogger active under censorship during the popular uprising that ousted Ben Ali from power in 2011, was elected deputy for the constituency of Germany in 2017, then for the first constituency of France in 2019.
He was sentenced in 2018 to three months in prison for a Facebook post that criticized the military. On March 27, he was also sentenced to 16 days in prison for another blog post. He did not serve this sentence.
In 2015, this son of a colonel killed in 2011 during the first clashes against terrorist groups in the country had spent more than four months in prison after a military court found him guilty of contempt of the high command of the army on social networks.
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