After an inquiry into allegations of transporting militants to Syria, Tunisia’s anti-terrorism police held Ali Laarayedh, a former prime minister and key member of the Islamist opposition Ennahda party, for one day, according to attorneys on Tuesday.
Rached Ghannouchi, the speaker of Tunisia’s disbanded parliament and leader of the Islamist opposition, had his hearing delayed by the police in a similar situation for almost 14 hours.
Lawyer Mokthar Jmayi told Reuters that Laarayedh is anticipated to appear before a judge on Wednesday.
Ennahda dismisses claims of terrorism and characterizes them as a political retaliation against a rival of President Kais Saied.
Since Saied took much of the power last summer, shutting down the parliament and establishing rule by decree, Ghannouchi, 81, has accused Saied of staging an anti-democratic coup. Saied’s authority has been fully institutionalized by a new constitution that was adopted in a referendum in July.
On suspicion of helping Tunisians travel for jihad, six former security personnel and two Ennahda members were detained last month.
Around 6,000 Tunisians are believed to have flown to Syria and Iraq in the past ten years to join jihadist organizations like Daesh, according to security and official sources. While some managed to escape and return to Tunisia, many people were killed there.