Tunisia: Former anti-corruption chief placed under house arrest

Chawki Tabib says he was informed by a police patrol outside his home that he was now under house arrest.

Chawki Tabib was the head of the independent authority from 2016 until he was dismissed by former Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh in 2020 [File: Ammar Awad/Reuters]

The former head of Tunisia’s Anti-Corruption Committee was placed under house arrest, hours after security forces took control of the commission’s headquarters.

Chawki Tabib was the head of the independent authority from 2016 until he was dismissed by former Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh in 2020.

“A security patrol stationed in front of my house informed me that a decision was issued to place me under house arrest … in violation of my right guaranteed by law and the constitution,” Tabib said on Facebook on Friday.

The interior ministry was not immediately available to comment.

In a series of shock moves, President Kais Saied late last month announced the sacking of the prime minister, the suspension of Parliament and the lifting of parliamentary immunity for the 217 lawmakers who make up Tunisia’s lower house.

Critics and opposition leaders labelled the president’s moves a “coup”, a characterisation rejected by Saied.

The move won widespread popular support, but also raised concerns among some Tunisians about the future of the democratic system that the country adopted after its 2011 revolution that triggered the Arab Spring.

Security forces cordoned off the headquarters of the Anti-Corruption Committee and evacuated its employees on Friday, in what appeared to be an attempt by the authority to protect any corruption files.

Saied, who was elected in a landslide in 2019 after promising to stand up against graft, has said those involved in corruption in all sectors must be held accountable.

Last week, officials in the phosphate industry were arrested over suspected corruption.

Source: News Agencies

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