Tunisia dissolves pro-Islamist group

The court decided to ban all activities organized by the group, which was founded in May 2012

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A court decided Monday to dissolve a pro-Islamist group accused of inciting violence, as sought by Tunisia's powerful UGTT workers union.

The court ruled that the League for the Protection of the Revolution (LPR) “was contravening laws on the organization and creation of associations, and decided to dissolve it and all its branches,” court spokesman Soufiene Sliti told AFP.

He also said the court decided to ban all activities organized by the group, which was founded in May 2012.

LPR leader Mounir Aroudji lashed out at what he called a purely “political” ruling by the judiciary.

“We hope that the 10 to 25 percent of clean judges will make the right decision on appeal,” he told private radio station Shems FM.

LPR founder Mohamed Maalej has said its aims are to “preserve the gains of the revolution” that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 and reinforce Tunisia's Arab and Muslim identity.

But the LPR has been accused of resorting to violence to intimidate critics, and of serving as a militia with links to the main Islamist movement Ennahda, which handed over power in late January to a government of technocrats.

Its members are suspected of having lynched a member of secular party Nidaa Tounes in the southern city of Tataouine in 2012, and of attacking the UGTT headquarters the same year.

The UGTT and opponents of Ennahda have since demanded the LPR's dissolution.

One of its leaders, Imed Dghij, was sentenced in late March to 14 months in prison for “inciting violence,” reduced to three months on appeal.

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