Jebali was detained by security personnel, according to a statement on his official Facebook page on Thursday. His release was also clamored for by the Ennahda party.
However, the interior ministry now claims that it is looking into a factory on land owned by the former president’s wife, and that he insisted on accompanying her to the police station.
Tunisia’s president, Kais Saied, is accused by critics of attempting to suppress dissent.
He dissolved parliament and assumed executive powers last year.
After gaining executive power last summer, Saied had already abolished parliament and taken control of the judiciary, declaring that he could rule by decree, which his critics call a coup.
Saied, who claims his actions were lawful and necessary to preserve Tunisia from a catastrophe, is rewriting Tunisia’s democratic constitution, which was enacted following the 2011 revolution, and plans to put it to a referendum in July.
Jebali is a Tunisian engineer, Muslim politician and journalist who was Prime Minister of Tunisia from December 2011 to March 2013. He was the Secretary-General of the Ennahda Movement, a moderate Islamic party in Tunisia, until he left his party in December 2014 in the course of the 2014 Tunisian presidential election.
In 1981 he became involved with Tunisia’s Islamist movement, then called Movement of the Islamic Tendency. He was director and editor-in-chief of Al-Fajr (Dawn), the former weekly newspaper of the Islamist Ennahda Party. He served as longtime member of the party’s executive council and remains secretary-general of Ennahda.
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