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The case is unprecedented in post-2011 democratic Tunisia. Slimane Bouhafs, an Algerian political refugee residing in Tunis, was kidnapped by strangers on Wednesday August 25 after a raid on his dwelling fueling suspicion of a secret settlement between Tunisian and Algerian authorities. Forty Tunisian civil society organizations expressed, Tuesday, August 31, their “Indignation” earlier than ” the harmful precedent created by the Tunisian state by handing over a refugee having fun with worldwide safety to the authorities of his nation who prosecute him for his political positions “. Neither Tunis nor Algiers have, so far, formally reacted.
Aged 54, Slimane Bouhafs was sentenced by the Sétif court docket to 3 years in jail, in September 2016, for “Assault on Islam and its Prophet” due to his writings on Fb. A former policeman, Mr. Bouhafs transformed to Christianity after the “black decade” (1990s) in Algeria which had made him psychologically fragile, in accordance with his household. Pardoned eighteen months later earlier than having served his complete sentence, he went into exile in Tunis in September 2018 the place the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had granted him refugee standing.
In keeping with Algerian and Tunisian media, his mysterious disappearance may very well be linked to the arrest introduced on Sunday in Tebessa (East Algeria) of the Tunisian tv magnate, Nabil Karoui, chief of the Qalb Tounès occasion (“within the coronary heart of Tunisia” ) and former candidate for the 2019 presidential election, alongside along with his brother, Ghazi Karoui. “Algeria and Tunisia would have tied a secret deal: Slimane Bouhafs towards Nabil Karoui”, writes the dissident Algerian information website Algeria Share.
The 2 Karoui brothers are being prosecuted for “Tax fraud and cash laundering”, Nabil having already been imprisoned twice on this topic. That they had secretly fled to Algeria the day after the coup, on July 25, by Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed, who had assumed full powers by invoking a “Imminent hazard” weighing on establishments. The Head of State renewed, on August 23, “ till additional discover »This distinctive regime which, after having been supported by public opinion exasperated by the chaotic administration of the nation by the previous authorities coalition, is starting to arouse criticism and concern inside Tunisian civil society.
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