On October 3, 2023, days after expressing her interest in running for the next presidential elections, security forces arrested opposition figure Abir Moussi. She had been trying to submit an appeal against presidential decrees related to the upcoming local elections claiming a lack of transparency in the electoral process. Security forces arrested Abir Moussi and drove her to an unknown location. On October 5, she was questioned by an investigative judge related to a series of security-related allegations and the judge ordered her pre-trial detention. The Tunisian authorities must immediately release Abir Moussi and drop the charges against her as they are based solely on the peaceful exercise of her rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly.
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President of the Republic Kais Saied
Route de la Goulette
Site archéologique de Carthage, Tunisie
Email: [email protected]
Tunisian Ambassador to the United States
Her Excellency Mrs. Hanene Tajouri Bessassi
1515 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20005
Email: [email protected]
I urge you to immediately release opposition figure Abir Moussi and drop all charges against her. Abir Moussi is being investigated for a range of offenses under the Penal Code and the Data Protection Law and is being held in Manouba’s women prison. On September 24, 2023, Abir Moussi shared a press release expressing her interest in running in the next presidential elections. On October 3, 2023, police officers arrested her in front of a public administration office.
Abir Moussi’s lawyers stated that she sustained physical injuries after the police used excessive force during her arrest. The lawyers said that the authorities had denied them access to their client during police interrogation. According to her lawyers, during her first night in custody, officers detaining Abir Moussi ignored her requests for medicine she is supposed to take daily, which resulted in health complications that landed her in the hospital days later. Abir Moussi now faces the death penalty for exercising her right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. On November 28, 2023, Abir Moussi’s lawyers announced that she started a hunger strike to protest her arbitrary detention.
I urge you to immediately release Abir Moussi and drop all charges against her as they stem from her peaceful political activism. Pending her release, she must be granted regular access to her family, lawyers, and adequate medical care, and held in conditions that comply with international standards.