Tunisian security forces have surrounded a hospital where the Ennahda movement’s leading member, Noureddine Bhairi, is being treated and prevented his family from visiting, his lawyers said Tuesday.
“The Bhairi family was surprised, upon its arrival on Tuesday, to the Habib Bougatfa Hospital in Bizerte, to visit him, with huge numbers of police agents besieging the hospital, and they prevented them from visiting without giving any explanation,” according to the lawyers in a statement.
The statement expressed fear for Bhairi’s life and held Interior Minister Taoufik Charfeddine responsible for any consequences.
Bhairi, 63, deputy leader of the Ennahda movement, was placed under house arrest by authorities on “terrorism-related charges.”
He was transferred to the hospital in the northern city of Bizerte on Jan. 3 after his health deteriorated because of a hunger strike.
Tunisian prosecutors accuse Bhairi of issuing false identity documents to a Syrian couple while he was serving as justice minister.
One-half of the couple was previously linked to terror cases committed outside Tunisian territory.
The Ennahda party, the largest bloc in the suspended parliament, said the accusations are “politicized.”
The Tunisian President Kasi Saied ousted the government on July 25, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority.
While Saied insists his “exceptional measures” are meant to “save” the country, critics have accused him of orchestrating a coup.
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