Rached Ghannouchi

Tunisia: the leader of the Ennahdha movement, Rached Ghannouchi, sentenced to 3 years in prison

In Tunisia, the president of the opposition Ennahdha party, Rached Ghannouchi, was sentenced to three years in prison for illegally financing his party.

The leader of the Ennahdha movement, Rached Ghannouchi, already serving a 15-month prison sentence, was sentenced Thursday to an additional three years for “foreign financing” of his party, according to the Tunis Court of First Instance. The former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rafik Abdessalam, Ghannouchi’s son-in-law, also received three years in prison in connection with the same affair.

The sentence includes a substantial fine of $1,170,470 against the Ennahdha party. These legal developments come against a backdrop of political tensions in Tunisia, exacerbated by Ghannouchi’s previous statements on the risk of “civil war” if certain parties were excluded from the political scene.

Ghannouchi’s arrest in April 2023 had already raised concerns about political stability in Tunisia. Tensions intensified when the leader of Ennahdha was sentenced in May to a year in prison for “apology of terrorism” in a separate case, where he had described the police as “tyrants”. The sentence was increased to 15 months on appeal.