Early life, education and professional life
Political and journalistic activity
In 1981 he became involved with Tunisia's Islamist movement, then called Movement of the Islamic Tendency. He was director and editor-in-chief
(Dawn), the former weekly newspaper of the Islamist Ennahda Party.
Moreover, he served as longtime member of the party's executive council and remains secretary-general of Ennahda.
Criminal prosecution and imprisonment
In June 1990, Al-Fajr
published an article by Rashid al-Ghannushi
called "The people of the State or the State of the People?" Jebali was made responsible for the publication and received a suspended sentence and a 1,500 dinars
fine for the offences of "encouraging violation of the law" and "calling for insurrection". In November 1990, the Islamist newspaper contained an essay by the lawyer Mohammed Nouri, entitled "When will military courts, serving as special courts, be abolished?" This time, a military court sentenced Hamadi Jebali to one year in prison for "defamation of a judicial institution".
In May 1992 the government claimed that it had detected plans for a coup d'état
, which had allegedly plotted to kill President Ben Ali
and establish an Islamic state
. In August 1992, Jebali, along with 170 other sympathisers of Ennahda, was charged with "attempted overthrow". Jebali protested that he had no knowledge of the plot's existence, and asserted that he had been tortured
, presenting marks on his body for evidence. The trial was classified as unfair by observers for Human Rights Watch
, the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights
, and Amnesty International
, the latter of which named Jebali a prisoner of conscience
Eventually, on 28 August 1992 Hamadi Jebali was sentenced to a prison term of 16 years for "membership in an illegal organisation" and "attempted change of the nature of the state".
The Court of Cassation
confirmed the verdict.
The conditions of his imprisonment were harsh. More than ten of the 15 years that Jebali spent, were in solitary confinement
. Hamadi Jebali engaged in several hunger strikes
to protest against the conditions and his conviction. Two of them lasted for 36 days each. In February 2006, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Tunisia's independence
, Jebali was conditionally released.
Post-revolution and Prime Minister
Jebali during the WEF
Following the Tunisian revolution
in January 2011, Ennahda was legalised. Since then, Hamadi Jebali has been present in public as the party's secretary-general and spokesman. In May 2011, he went to Washington, D.C.
in the US at the invitation of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy.
He also met U.S. Senators John McCain
and Joe Lieberman
On 19 February 2013, he resigned from his office.
The move followed his attempt to form a technocratic
government following the assassination of Chokri Belaid
and ensuing protests against the alleged Islamisation of the country. Ennahda, however, rejected his resignation insisting on a government of politicians and Jebali formally resigned after a meeting with President Moncef Marzouki saying it was in the best interests of the country. He said: "I promised if my initiative did not succeed I would resign as head of the government, and this is what I am doing following my meeting with the president. Today there is a great disappointment among the people and we must regain their trust and this resignation is a first step."
Party leader Rachid Ghannouchi
then suggested a government of politicians and technocrats, while Jebali suggested that if he was tasked with forming a new government it would have to include non-partisan ministers and a variety of political representation that would lead to a new election.
Unnamed opposition figures welcomed the resignation. The same day, Standard & Poor
downgraded Tunisia's credit rating.
However, the IMF
said that it was still in talks for a US$1.78 billion loan to the country.
After urging his party without success to support the interim president Moncef Marzouki
in the presidential election of 2014,
he left Ennahda on 10 December 2014.
In January 2015, he refused to join the new party of the losing presidential candidate Marzouki
but did not rule out founding a party of his own.
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- ^ a b "Tunisia PM resigns after cabinet initiative fails to form a technocratic government". India Today. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
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- ^ Eileen Byrne: Major Political Shift to Come as Tunisia Votes for New President. In: The National, 20 December 2014.
- ^ Zeineb Marzouk: Hamadi Jebali Resigns from Ennahdha. In: Tunisia-Live.net, 12 December 2014.
- ^ Hamadi Jebali: Je ne ferai jamais partie du mouvement créé par Marzouki. In: JawharaFM.net, 6 January 2015.
- ^ Hamadi Jebali envisage de lancer un nouveau parti politique. In: Tuniscope.com, 5 January 2015.
Last edited on 27 February 2021, at 15:25
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