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“The people want judges, not slaves.” A sit-in in Tunisia against the dismissal of dozens of judges by Qais Said


Dozens of judges, lawyers and activists demonstrated in the capital, Tunis, against what they see as President Kais Saied’s control of the judiciary.

Dozens of sacked judges by Tunisian President Kais Saied demonstrated Thursday to denounce the “hands-down” of the judiciary and employment policy, according to an AFP correspondent.

The “Tunisian Judges Association” called for the demonstration, in which judges and lawyers in black uniforms, as well as representatives of civil society organizations, participated in front of the court in the capital, in light of the presence of policemen in civilian clothes.

The demonstrators chanted slogans such as “The people want judges, not slaves,” “The judiciary is an authority, not a job,” and “Freedoms, not the judiciary of instructions.”

On June 1, 2022, the Tunisian president, who monopolizes all powers in the country, dismissed 57 judges by presidential decree, accusing them of corruption and obstructing many investigations.

After two months, the judiciary halted the dismissal of 49 judges and decided to resume their work.

“Despite the final decision, the President and the Minister of Justice refuse to apply the law, which constitutes a crime punishable by law,” said the spokesman for the Committee for the Defense of Judges, Lawyer Ayachi Hammami.

According to Ayachi, who was a fierce opponent of the regime of the late ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, 37 complaints have been filed since January against the Minister of Justice, Leila Jaffal, on charges of “violating the law” in this case.

He continued, “The judiciary has become under instructions, and the president is intimidated by his statements in which he expresses his positions on political and judicial issues.”

In turn, isolated judge Hammadi al-Rahmani confirmed, “We were punished by the authority because we refused orders to arrest political figures.”

Al-Hamami addressed President Saeed, “If it lasted for someone else, it would not have come to you.”

In the year 2022, Saeed dissolved the Supreme Judicial Council and replaced it with a temporary council whose members he appointed, before strengthening by decree his supervision of the judicial system by allowing judges to be dismissed.

In the new constitution, the president appoints judges based on a proposal from the Supreme Judicial Council, which was the prerogative of the latter.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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