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Opposition lawmaker Seif Eddine Makhlouf arrested by plainclothes agents as he attempted to attend a trial against himself.
Seif Eddine Makhlouf, an opposition member of the Tunisian parliament, was briefly detained as he attempted to attend a trial against himself in the capital, his lawyer has said.
Makhlouf, leader of the conservative Karama party and a frequent critic in the parliament of President Kais Saied, who seized additional powers in July, was arrested Friday by plainclothes agents when he tried to enter the military court in Tunis, his lawyer said. Anouar Awled. news agencies.
The officers took Makhlouf in a car, according to a video that Awled posted online.
The lawyer told AFP news agency that “as soon as he arrived at the court, plainclothes police officers rushed to Seif Eddine, forced him to the ground and beat him, then forced him into a civilian vehicle”.
The judge hearing his case in military court later ordered his release and said he was due to appear in court on September 27, his lawyer said, without saying why he had been detained.
Makhlouf was wanted by the military court for insulting airport security personnel months ago, Awled said.
Rights groups have called for the release of another MP, Yassin Ayari, and have criticized the use of military courts to try civilians. They have also expressed concerns about travel bans on people wanted against various charges.
Shortly before his detention, Makhlouf had posted a video that said he was on his way to court with his lawyers.
“We are not afraid of military court, but we reject coups that use military justice to settle scores with opponents,” he said.
On July 25, Saied sacked the government, suspended parliament, lifted the immunity of lawmakers and made it head of the prosecution.
The president has dismissed allegations of a coup and pledged to uphold the rights, arguing that his intervention was necessary to save the country from corruption and political paralysis.
On Friday, he said no one would be stopped from traveling unless there was an existing case.
Although his takeover and parliament freeze seemed widely popular, opposition among major political players has grown since one of his advisers told Reuters news agency last week that Saied intended to suspend the constitution.
A powerful union and several major political parties have since said that any amendment to the constitution must be passed in a constitutional manner.
Civil society activists staged a first protest against Saied on Saturday, a test to test how security forces intend to deal with direct public opposition to the president’s actions.
Saied has lifted the immunity of MPs, making them subject to several prosecutions, and several have since been detained or investigated.
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