Tunisian politician Noureddine Bhiri released from house arrest

Ennahda official had been detained over terrorism charges and illegal submission of documents

Ennahda party senior official Noureddine Bhiri in 2013. Mr Bhiri has been freed from house arrest, his party said. AFP
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A senior official from Tunisia's Ennahda party has been freed from house arrest.

Noureddine Bhiri was freed on Tuesday morning, the party said on Facebook.

Mr Bhiri had been placed under house arrest in December over the illegal submission of passports and nationality documents and a “serious” suspicion of being involved in acts of terrorism, the interior minister said.

The Tunisian Interior Ministry lifted the house arrest order against Mr Bhiri, state news agency TAP reported late on Monday.

Mr Bhiri was the party’s first senior official to be detained since President Kais Saied dismissed Parliament and seized governing powers in July — a move that Ennahda and some other parties called a coup.

In January, the former justice minister was said to be “near death” after going on hunger strike.

Since Mr Saied's July intervention, several senior politicians and business leaders have been detained or subjected to prosecution, often on charges of corruption or defamation.

Rights groups have criticised some of those arrests and the use of military courts to preside over such cases.

However, there has been no widespread arrests of Mr Saied's critics or other dissidents and the state news agency has continued to report news that is unfavourable to the government.

Updated: June 14, 2023, 7:27 AM