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UN bashes Tunisia over arrest of former justice minister, calls for release

Nations expressed its concern over the human rights abuse in Tunisia and asked the Central authority to immediately release or properly charge the former justice minister Noureddine Bhiri

On Tuesday, the United Nations expressed its concern over the human rights abuse in Tunisia and asked the Central authority to immediately release or properly charge the former justice minister Noureddine Bhiri and another man, who was arrested in a clampdown on the Ennahdha party.

The UN Rights Office, OHCHR, also mentioned that the duo had been arrested under suspected terrorism offences.

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Reportedly, on December 31, Mr Bhiri was taken outside his home by men dressed in civilian clothes. The civil force did not provide any explanations or warrant before arresting him.

Mr Bhiri, 63-year-old, had already been suffering from diabetes and hypertension and was transferred to the hospital on January 2 after a hunger strike.

However, as per the officials, the leader was arrested under suspicion of “terrorism-related” offences. The OHCHR has said that his lawyers have claimed no information about the charges filed against him.

According to the reports, the second unidentified person was detained on the same day, under the same circumstances. His location was unknown till January 4.

OHCHR Spokesperson Geneva Liz Throssell said, “The UN urged the authorities of Tunisia to either release or properly charged the two detainees to complete the due process standards for criminal proceedings.”

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She further raised concern over the tragic circumstances in Tunisia and said that the latest detention had deepened the UN’s serious concerns about the worsening human rights in the country.

United Nations General Assembly has expressed concern because such an incident has occurred for the second time. On December 31, former interior ministry official Fathi Baldi was arrested under the same circumstances. After arrest, all details related to her were kept secret for several days.

Tariq Saeed

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