Tunisia Presidential Candidate Promises to Release Extremists from Prison

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A Tunisian presidential candidate stirred political and social controversy after he pledged to release all Tunisian prisoners detained on terrorism charges, claiming they were wrongly accused and imprisoned.

Head of the Openness and Loyalty Party Bahri Jelassi announced that, once elected president, he will repeal the anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering law approved by parliament in 2015.

More than 1,500 prisoners are held in Tunisia on terrorism charges, according to previous statements by spokesman for Tunisia’s counter-terrorism agency, Sufian al-Sulaiti.

Moreover, the National Counter-Terrorism Committee confirmed that about 1,000 terrorists have returned to the country after spending years in hotbeds abroad.

Jelassi said in a media statement that terrorism charges are a “mere fabrication of cases” against Tunisians.

Experts and specialists on terrorist organizations dismissed Jelassi’s pledge, saying the country has lost dozens of lives in the war on terrorism and that extremists have targeted dozens of civilians and tourists in their attacks.

They added that releasing extremists from detention will not be welcomed inside Tunisia or abroad.

Jelassi had previously sparked another controversy when he declared the approval of polygamy as one of the priorities of his electoral campaign and pledged to bar the consumption of alcohol and smoking in the country.