Surprise reshuffle in Tunisia: the Minister of the Interior thanked

Surprise reshuffle in Tunisia: the Minister of the Interior thanked
Surprise reshuffle in Tunisia: the Minister of the Interior thanked

Surprise reshuffle: the Minister of the Interior thanked

Published today at 1:35 a.m. Updated 8 minutes ago

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President Kais Saied has decided to appoint Khaled Nouri to the Ministry of the Interior, according to a press release from the Tunisian presidency, released without any explanation, to replace Kamel Feki, until then considered close to the head of state.

Kamel Madouri, a technocrat, will be the new Minister of Social Affairs in place of Malek Zahi, who also had the ear of the president. In addition, a position of Secretary of State was created at the Ministry of the Interior, responsible for national security and entrusted to Sofiene Ben Sadok, according to the press release.

This reshuffle was decided in the wake of a wave of arrests which affected around ten human rights activists, lawyers and journalists over the last two weeks.

“Worry”

The European Union, the United States and France expressed their “concern” and “concern”, drawing the wrath of President Saied who denounced “unacceptable foreign interference”.

On Friday, hundreds of demonstrators, mostly young people, chanted “down with dictatorship” in the streets of Tunis and denounced a return to a “police state” in an allusion to the 23 years of dictatorship of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, overthrown in 2011 by a popular movement.

The demonstrators directly attacked President Saied, democratically elected in October 2019 but author of a coup in the summer of 2021 by which he seized full powers.

“Kais oh dictator, your turn has come,” shouted the demonstrators representing various civil society associations, the driving force of the 2011 Revolution, which marked the start of the Arab Spring in the region.

Arrests

On Wednesday, two well-known radio and television columnists, Borhen Bssaiss and Mourad Zeghidi, were sentenced to a heavy sentence of one year in prison, under a decree-law punishing “fake news”, after having been accused of criticizing the socio-economic situation of the country.

Their arrest on May 11 coincided with the violent arrest in the premises of the Tunis bar of lawyer Sonia Dahmani, who was accused of having made irony in a television column about the possibility that sub-Saharan migrants had want to settle permanently in Tunisia, despite the serious economic crisis which is hitting it.

Two days later, another lawyer Mehdi Zagrouba was taken by force by the police and severely beaten, according to the Tunisian Human Rights League which, with the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), requested a medico-legal expertise on “the abuse” that the lawyer says he suffered.

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