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Jailed Tunisian presidency front-runner starts hunger strike


Jailed Tunisian presidency front-runner starts hunger strike

A boy holds a picture of presidential candidate Nabil Karoui as he takes part in a rally asking for his release from prison, in front of the courthouse in Tunis, Tunisia on September 3, 2019. The placard reads "Release Nabil Karoui". (REUTERS Photo)

 

 

TUNIS, September 12 (Reuters): Tunisian‮‮ ‬‬media mogul Nabil Karoui, a front-runner in Sunday's presidential election, has started a hunger strike in prison demanding to be allowed to vote, his lawyer said on Thursday.

 

Karoui, 56, owner of the Nesma TV channel, was detained three weeks ago on suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering.

 

His main rival, among 26 candidates, is Prime Minister Youssef Chahed. Other candidates include Defence Minister Abd el Karim Zbidi, former president Moncef Marzouki, and Abdel Fattah Mourou, vice president of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party.

 

"Karoui started an open-ended hunger strike since Wednesday to demand his right to vote on Sunday," his lawyer Ridha Belhadj told Reuters.

 

Authorities were not immediately available for comment.

 

A court of appeal is due on Friday to hear Karoui's request to be released pending a final verdict in his case.

 

 

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