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Tunisian Court Sentences President’s Critic To One Year In Prison

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Tunisian President, Kais Saied.

A well-known Tunisian lawyer and critic of President Kais Saied, Sonia Dahmani, has been sentenced to one year in prison, her lawyer said on Saturday.

This ruling has raised concerns among the opposition that the targeting of dissenting voices will continue ahead of the presidential election on October 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 where she remarked that life in Tunisia is unpleasant.

Opposition parties have accused Saied’s government of pressuring the judiciary to target his political rivals. They argue that fair elections can not be possible unless imprisoned politicians are released and the media is allowed to operate without government interference.

Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition Republican Union Party and a presidential candidate, Lotfi Mraihi, was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of money laundering.

Also, the leader of the Free Constitutional Party and another popular candidate, Abir Moussi, has been imprisoned since October 2023 on charges of harming public security.

With also these events unfolding, President Saied is yet to declare his candidacy for a second five-year term, though he is much expected to.

Read More: Tunisia’s Presidential Election to Hold Oct. 6, President Yet To Indicate Re-election Interest

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