Tunisia bans lawyer representing Palestine at the ICJ

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Former head of the Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in Tunisia, Chawki Tabib on 8 December 2016 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]

Tunisian authorities prevented lawyer and former head of the Anti-Corruption Authority, Chawki Tabib, from leaving the country as he was heading to The Hague to represent Palestine in the genocide case filed against the Israeli occupation.

Local media reported that Tabib, who is representing Palestine against the occupying state before the ICJ in The Hague, was prevented, by a judicial decision, from leaving Tunis-Carthage Airport and heading to Kuwait to attend a coordination meeting related to the case against Israel.

Last month, Chawki Tabib announced that he had filed a lawsuit with the Prosecutor at the ICJ in The Hague against the Israeli occupation, after being commissioned by the Palestinian Bar Association.

The Tunisian lawyer said in a post on his Facebook account, “Today, 12/6/2023, I filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague against war criminals, killers of Palestinian children, and leaders of the usurping Zionist entity.”

On 11 January, as Israel was put on trial at The Hague on charges of committing genocide against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, Tabib posted a picture of a power of attorney document from the Palestinian Bar Association, saying, “This is the only day I wished to be outside Tunisia.”

The Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Tunisia will not join any lawsuit against Israel at the ICJ, claiming that this “involves implicit recognition of this entity.”

This comes at a time when Tunisia is witnessing a widespread arrest campaign, including of media figures, activists, judges, businessmen and politicians, in politically charged cases.

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