Tunisia: Additional Arrests Target Opposition Coalition Leaders

by | Feb 22, 2023 | Political, Tunisia


On 22 February 2023, a string of arrests of opposition figures by Tunisian authorities continued, with key leadership of the National Salvation Front (NSF) being targeted. The NSF has been a vocal critical of President Kais Saied and his reform program as its leaders have worked to unified Tunisia’s diverse political opposition, particularly following the dissolution of parliament in 2021.

Chaima Issa, a longtime activist prominent within the NSF was arrested. Issam Chebbi, another vocal critic of the administration, was also arrested. Police also reportedly attempted to arrest opposition figure Jawher Ben Mbarek, but he was not at home when police sought him for arrest. He was eventually arrested on 24 February.

The government has continued to provide few comments on the arrests outside of statements indicating that those arrested have been affiliated with conspiracies against the security of the state. The arrests continue to be widely criticized, particularly by foreign media outlets.


The arrests have added to a sense of political tension in Tunisia and have coincided with both the unfolding economic crisis and the ongoing backlash against sub-Saharan African migrants. We are continuing to monitor how the security situation develops, particularly in the event of major pushback from the political opposition in the form of protests or demonstrations.


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