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West looks away as Tunisia’s Saeid 'dismantles' democracy

Along with expanding his presidential powers, President Kais Saied has nearly picked apart Tunisia's once-fledgling democracy; Western countries have barely responded.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) meets with Tunisian President Kais Saied (R).

Abdelhamid Jlassi and his wife, Mounia, were having dinner at their apartment in Tunis' Bardo neighborhood when they heard a knock at the door. Fifteen security officials stood outside. “Before my parents knew what was happening, one of them shoved a search warrant in their faces, seized my mother’s phone, took my dad’s phone, iPad and laptop, then hauled him off without any explanation,” the couple’s daughter, Mariem, told Al-Monitor.

Jlassi, a former senior figure in Tunisia’s beleaguered Islamic-leaning Ennahda party, is among at least 10 people who were arbitrarily arrested over the weekend in part of a systematic crackdown by Tunisia’s aspiring dictator, President Kais Saied, to consolidate the power grab he began last July.

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