Tunisian Interior Minister Ali Al-Areed was born in Madanin city in the south of Tunisia. He first graduated as an engineer from the commercial navy school on the coast of Tunisia. He joined the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) movement’s institutions, aka Ennahda Movement, especially the Congress and the Shura Council, since the early eighties.
From 1982 to 1986, Ali Al-Areed supervised the Committee on Priorities Project, which produced foundation documents for the development of the MB project, including:
l Evaluation of MB progress, from inception until the year 1984.
l Interim strategy of the MB movement, detailing the MB’s priorities and vision for the approach of change, and clarifying the nature of the MB as a peaceful civilian political movement.
l Features of our vision for organization and regulation.
Ali Al-Areed headed the movement’s consultative council from 1982 to the Conference of December 1986. He, together with current Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, managed the movement’s interior leadership and the forging of closer relationship with the political mainstream, in an atmosphere of strict security persecution, which included the trial of the leadership in 1981 and the political breakthrough in 1984, which was followed by the Conference which witnessed the re-election of the MB’s historical leadership to the top of the movement.
Ali Al-Areed was a member of the MB’s Executive Office, and was president of the Political Bureau from 1988 until the date of his arrest on December 23, 1990. He was also the MB movement’s official spokesperson.
In 1987, Ali Al-Areed was sentenced in absentia for ten years imprisonment. Later the same year, he was sentenced to death. This, however, was dropped with a presidential pardon in 1988. In the year 1992, he was tried before a military court which issued him a sentence of 15 years in prison. In addition to the various methods of excruciating physical torture suffered by Al-Areed in the cells and corridors of the Ministry of the Interior during detention, he underwent – in prison, after being sentenced – tremendous physical and moral pressures, one of those was the report published by the intelligence scandals newspaper "Al-I’lan" claiming possession of a videotape that showed him committing "a sexual offense". All that was meant to force him to resign his MB posts and ask for forgiveness. But he persevered.