Tunisia – Capital punishment for nine jihadists who killed a soldier

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Despite a 30-year-old moratorium, nine IS fighters were sentenced to death for killing a young corporal in 2016.

The security forces have been tracking armed extremist groups since 2012, entrenched in particular on Mount Chaambi.

AFP

Tunisian justice has sentenced to death nine jihadists convicted of killing a soldier in his home in west-central Tunisia in 2016, local media reported on Saturday. Defendants continue to receive the death penalty, despite a moratorium observed for more than 30 years in the country.

On November 5, 2016, the young army corporal, Said Ghozlani, was found beheaded in his house in the Mount Mghilla region, a hideout of the local branch of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqmi). The assassination was claimed by the jihadist organization Islamic State (IS).

Moratorium called into question

Since 2012, the security forces have been tracking armed extremist groups, entrenched in mountainous areas of the country, in particular on the Mghilla and Chaambi mountains, in the Kasserine region. Several jihadists, some of whom are on the run, are being prosecuted by Tunisian courts for their involvement in “terrorist” acts.

In 2020, President Kais Saied questioned the moratorium on the death penalty, saying he was in favor of the application of this type of punishment, after the murder of a 29-year-old woman, found in a ditch on the highway linking Tunis and a residential area. This position of the president had been strongly criticized by several NGOs.

On Friday, the criminal chamber of the Tunis court of first instance also sentenced fifteen people to prison terms ranging from 32 to 44 years for their involvement in the attack on the soldier.

(AFP)

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