Tunisian opposition leader gets suspended jail term

A prominent Tunisian opposition activist has been handed a one-year suspended prison sentence for insulting the president, her lawyer says.

Chaima Issa was convicted by a military court on Wednesday of inciting soldiers to disobey orders and insulting President Kais Saied, Islem Hamza said. Issa denies wrongdoing.

The charges relate to comments Issa made accusing Saied of trying to create “tyranny”, saying parliamentary elections in 2022 were useless and calling on the army not to be involved.

Issa’s sentence is widely seen by Tunisia’s opposition as a step to silence Saied’s critics.

The president, who was democratically elected in October 2019, launched a power grab in July 2021, ousting the former parliament and prime minister and giving himself sweeping emergency powers. He has since pushed through a new constitution to weaken parliament and cracked down on his political opponents.

Issa herself was among 20 political leaders detained in February on suspicion of “plotting against state security”. She was released in July pending her trial.

Credit: aljazeera.com


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