Tunisia military court orders release of two opposition politicians -lawyer

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TUNIS, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Tunisia's military court has released Seifeddine Makhlouf, head of the conservative Karama party, and another opposition figure, his lawyer said on Monday amid concerns over human rights since President Kais Saied seized power last year.

Saied dismissed the North African country's prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed all governing powers on July 25, a move described by the Tunisian opposition as a coup.

Since Saied's intervention, several senior politicians and business leaders have been detained or prosecuted, many of them on charges of corruption or defamation. Makhlouf and Karama party member Nidal Saudi were arrested in September last year and charged with assaulting policemen.

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"The Public Prosecution asked the court to renew their imprisonment, but the military court refused the request and therefore released them", Anouar Awled Ali told Reuters.

Human rights groups have criticized some of the arrests and the use of military courts to hear cases.

Saied has promised to uphold the rights and freedoms won in Tunisia's 2011 revolution, which ushered in democracy and triggered "Arab Spring" uprisings across the region.

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Reporting by Tarek Amara; Writing by Ahmad Elhamy; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Alexander Smith

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