Sahbi Atig goes on hunger strike (Conference)

Sahbi Atig, leader in Ennahdha movement, currently under arrest, has started a hunger strike for five days in protest against what he describes as "injustice".

According to his wife Zayneb Mraihi, the arrest of Sahbi Atig "has a political and purely revengeful character".

At a press conference on Tuesday in Tunis, organised with defence lawyer Mohsen Sahbani, Mraihi said that Atig's health was deteriorating. "He is being held in a cell with 13 individuals, some of whom are smokers, while he suffers from diabetes and respiratory difficulties," she said.

She also denied the information that Sahbi Atig had 1.5 million dinars stolen from his home.

Zeineb Mraihi also denied that her husband was organising his escape to Turkey during his arrest at the airport on May 6.

"Why not let him go free until we have evidence incriminating him?" she asked, calling on the Minister of Justice to open an investigation into the circumstances of his arrest and the property acquired by the family in order to dispel the rumours.

For his part, Mohsen Sahbani, a member of Atig's defence committee, said he met Atig in prison on Monday, who told him that "this case is fabricated and that he is convinced he can prove his innocence."

He added that Atig has decided to continue his hunger strike until he returns home, despite his deteriorating health.

The investigating judge at the Court of First Instance of Ariana had issued, on May 12, a detention warrant against Ennahdha leader Sahbi Atig and two other people.

He was arrested on May 6 for, in particular, "money laundering, illegal possession of currency and false testimony".

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse