Tunisia: Pressure on Ennahdha Continues as Spokesman Arrested

by | Aug 23, 2023 | Legal, Political, Tunisia


On 21 August 2023, Ennahdha spokesman Abdelfattah Taghouti was arrested in Tunis. Taghouti was previously arrested in March during a spree of arrests targeting opposition political figures under charges of “conspiring against the security of the state.” He was released after approximately 10 days of detention following his March arrest.

Shortly following his 21 August arrest, Ennahdha official Mondher Lounissi announced that Taghouti’s detention was related to an old search warrant and that he would be released shortly.

On 23 August, Taghouti’s lawyer announced that he had been released.

Ennahdha’s senior leader, Rached Ghannouchi remains in detention along with several other Ennahdha leaders. In April, the Ministry of the Interior disrupted operations at the Ennahdha headquarters and issued an order banning any Ennahdha gatherings through the whole country.


Ennahdha remains a central focus for the current administration. The once powerful party has faced a series of arrests and disruption to their operations for months, including the jailing of their high profile “democratic Islamist” leader, Rached Ghannouchi.

With senior leaders imprisoned and others resigning, Ennahdha’s future remains unclear. Despite some support from external advocates, many Tunisians are supportive of President Kais Saied’s view that Ennahdha is largely responsible for the country’s current economic and social challenges.

Ennahdha is likely to continue to remain a convenient, if nebulous, actor upon which the administration can place blame, even as its formal influence wanes. In the current climate, the Tunisian public has not appeared poised to rally to Ennahdha’s defense in the form of protests or demonstrations and this unlikely to change in the near term.


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