The Coordination of Democratic Parties, which includes the Attayar (Democratic Current), the Workers’ Party, Al-Qotb and Ettakatol, on Thursday, held a rally in front of the Justice Ministry, in coordination with the Al-Joumhouri Party, to demand the release of those arrested in the case of “conspiracy against the internal security of the state”.
They described the arrest files as “empty” and evidence as «insufficient”.
In a statement to TAP agency, Hamma Hammami, secretary-general of the Workers’ Party, said that the slogan of the rally was “release of political prisoners, trade unionists and journalists arrested under the terms of Decree Law No. 54”.
“In this case, the defence lawyers believe that the prosecution’s files are empty,” he said, adding that their only crime is “being opponents of the current authorities.»
Hammami said all these arrests and prosecutions of politicians, trade unionists and journalists are “serious” and constitute a violation of freedoms. He called for the release of all political prisoners and for charges to be dropped.
The rally was also attended by representatives of prisoners’ families, political parties and political formations, including the National Salvation Front.
For his part, Hichem Ajbouni, member of the political bureau of the Attayar pointed out that there is a return to old practices. He said that “files are being put together in an unintelligent way”.
“We believe that it is the state that is conspiring against Tunisians,” he said, criticising the Ministry of Justice’s policy in dealing with the case.
He said the ministry is deliberately withholding information about the arrests and the case documents.
For his part, Wissem Sghaier, spokesperson for the Al-Joumhouri party, said that the progressive forces and the opposition maintain their decision to condemn, protest and expose the many violations committed in the process of arresting political activists.
The rally brought together several political parties, including Afek Tounes, the Socialist Party and the Salvation Front.
“This can only confirm that the different political parties are united in their demand for the release of political prisoners,” he said.
«It is shameful to implicate long-standing activists in such cases of terrorism when they have always served the country with loyalty and contributed greatly to the development of its constitution,» he added.
Nejib Chebbi, president of the National Salvation Front said the government has adopted “a policy of flight” despite the crisis underwent by the country and “its isolation at national and international levels”.
“According to leaked information, 27 other personalities involved in this case will soon be put on trial,” he added.
For her part, Dalila Msaddek, a member of the defence lawyers team told TAP that this rally coincides with the examination of the appeal against the investigating judge’s refusal to release the defendants.
She added that “there is little hope for a fair and just decision because the judiciary is now working under threat and only applies the orders”.
Msaddek stressed, however, that “the opposition is determined to defend its rights and continue to fight for the release of all those arrested in this case”.
Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP)