Tunisian judge extends detention of six prominent opponents of president

TUNIS (Reuters) – A Tunisian judge on Tuesday extended by four months the detention of six prominent opponents of the president who have been detained since February on suspicion of plotting against state security, one of their lawyers told Reuters.

Islam Hamza said those detained – Abdl Hamid Jlassi, Khayam Turki, Issam Chebbi, Jawher Ben Mbarek, Ridha Belhaj and Ghazi Chaouachi – had registered their objection to the decision, which he described as “political, not judicial”.

They were arrested in February as part of a crackdown that included about 20 politicians, businessmen linked to politics, and a private radio owner. The president described them as “terrorists and criminals”.

(Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Alison Williams)