EXCLUSIVE: Tunisia, arrested Said Jaziri another Islamist deputy

A few minutes ago, Quran Al Karim radio announced that its owner, Tunisian MP Said Jaziri, has been arrested by law enforcement. Since 2016, the Hight Independent Authority of Audiovisual Communication (Haute Autorité Indépendante de la Communication Audiovisuelle HAICA) has been trying to end the illegal broadcast of the illegal Quran Al Karim radio, but unable to implement its decisions due to the ramifications of the brothers. Muslims among the authorities in charge.

Said Jaziri is the owner of the radio station Quran Al Karim and a deputy of the Isalmaist Errahma party, elected to the local constituency of Ben Arous, a coastal city in northeastern Tunisia. According to HAICA, Said Jaziri took advantage of this illegal and never licensed radio station to gain notoriety, which allowed him to be in the currently frozen parliament.

HAICA has stated in the past that broadcasting without legal authorization is a form of corruption that must be fought, by all means, pointing out how suspicious media funding threatens the democratic process of the young Republic.

Jaziri’s arrest follows 30 other Tunisian officials involved in corruption cases after President Kais Saied decides to remove diplomatic immunity from Members of Parliament. The operation launched by Tunisian President Kais Saied consists of the arrest of deputies with pending sentences. Among the first, Maher Zid, an Islamist deputy from the party of Al Karama, an ally of Ennahda. Zid was sentenced on January 20, 2017, to four years in prison for stealing documents relating to the assassination of the leftist leader, Chokri Belaid, from the court secretariat.

The Tunis court also opened a case on four members of Ennahda, including a member of the management, a member of the staff of President Rachid Ghannouchi, and his former bodyguard. The accusation is “an attempt to commit acts of violence in front of Parliament following the announcement of the President of the Republic.” According to the state agency TAP, the capital’s crime brigade had received reports that the defendants contacted people in the El Nour neighborhood, urging them to recover sticks for committing violence in front of the Parliament building.

The leader of Hope and Action (Amal), Yassine al Ayari, is also arrested in front of his house by presidential security agents. According to military prosecutor sources, the detention of Yassine al Ayari enforces a final court ruling issued by the Military Court of Appeal on December 6, 2018, and confirmed by a ruling by the Court of Cassation. In the first instance, Yassine al Ayari was sentenced to three months in prison for having “defamed” the Armed Forces in his blog during the presidency of Beji Caid Essebsi.

Before that, the police had arrested Seifeddine Makhlouf, a deputy from Al Karama, who last March, together with other parliamentarians from the same party, tried to convince the Tunis airport staff with attacks and threats, to let him leave. A person suspected of being an aspiring foreign fighter.

Judge Bechir Akremi, on the other hand, is under house arrest, accused by human rights groups of hiding files related to terrorism. Activists see the judge as a symbol of corruption in the judiciary, especially about his proximity to the Islamic party. According to accusations brought by lawyers and secular parties, among the hidden dossiers, there are those relating to the murder of two lay leaders Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, in 2013, which led to vigorous protests that ended with the overthrow of the government. In this context, the news of the death of two magistrates at the military hospital in Tunis was recently announced. The two men would have died within minutes of each other.

In recent days, after Ridha Gharsallaoui as the new interior minister, the head of state removed the director of state television, Mohamed Lassaad Dahech. In his place, Awatef Dali was temporarily appointed.

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