TUNIS, (Reuters) – Tunisian judges extended their strike for a second week after President Kais Saied refused to reverse a decision to dismiss dozens of them, judges’ unions said in a joint statement on Saturday.
Saied dismissed 57 judges this month, accusing them of corruption and protecting terrorists, charges that the Tunisian Judges’ Association said were mostly politically motivated. The first strike began on June 4.
Saied’s decision sparked a wave of domestic and foreign criticism. Ten international rights groups accused him of dealing “a deep blow to judicial independence”.
Meanwhile, Tunisian police arrested journalist Salah Attia, who said on Al Jazeera that President Kais Saied had asked the army to close the headquarters of the powerful UGTT union, a witness told Reuters. There was no official confirmation of the arrest.
Earlier in the day, military prosecutors said they had opened an investigation into Attia on suspicion of “harming public order and the impartiality of the army”.