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Release of 53 Nahda Members Not Sufficient, Chairman Says
 Al Nahda Islamic Movement today November 6, 2006, announced that the authorities have released 53 of its members, some of them have been in prison for over 15 years, including Mohammed el Akroot and Al Habib Alloaz who were jailed in el Marnakeya Prison. In an exclusive statement to Ikhwanweb, Chairman of the movement Mr. Rashed el Ghanoushi said that the release of the 5
Tuesday, November 7,2006 00:00
by Mohammed Aly, Ikhwanweb

 Al Nahda Islamic Movement today November 6, 2006, announced that the authorities have released 53 of its members, some of them have been in prison for over 15 years, including Mohammed el Akroot and Al Habib Alloaz who were jailed in el Marnakeya Prison.

In an exclusive statement to Ikhwanweb, Chairman of the movement Mr. Rashed el Ghanoushi said that the release of the 53 Nahda members didn’t come out of a dialogue or a rapprochement with the regime.

 Rather, he said, this is the 19th anniversary of Bin Ali’s ascension to power, and the regime is in the habit of marking this anniversary by releasing a number of detainees.

Ghannoushi ruled out that this step signals improvement of relation between Al Nahda Islamic Movement and the Tunisian regime or that the regime intends to abide by democracy or open the door before freedoms in society, citing the regime’s flagrant campaign against the veil even in the month of Ramadan.

Ghannoushi also complained that the oppositionists who are released, either from Al Nahda movement of other political forces, don’t enjoy their full freedoms.

As if they have been released on parole, Ghannoushi said that they are still kept under surveillance and they are ordered to sign in at police station everyday, besides they are denied access to move freely.

According to Mr. Ghannoushi, those recently released people affirm that their stay in prison was better than this freedom restricted life outside prison. He called on the authorities to issue a decree granting those people their full freedom and help them restore their full rights especially to exercise their lives freely without being kept under surveillance.

He also called for repealing all freedom restricting laws including the Law on Journalism and the Law on the Election and other infamous ones. It is noted that the political opposition in Tunis, especially the Islamist one, comes under a wide range repression on the part of the regime, and therefore it calls on the authorities to announce a general pardon for all detainees and release of the political prisoners, about 300 in number. The government, for its part, denies the existence of political detainees in its prisons, saying rather that those political oppositionists are imprisoned in public opinion cases.

The Tunisian regime has recently embarked on a number of procedures with the aim to tighten its grip on the religious trends in the Tunisian society including banning the wearing of the veil in public places and ordering the prayers to leave copies of their IDs in the mosques they pray in, a step which was met with a scathing criticism from human rights watchdogs in and outside Tunis.


Posted in Human Rights  
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