Tunisia: Sentencing for US Embassy Bombing Suspects Handed Down

by | Mar 18, 2023 | Legal, Security, Tunisia


This week, death sentences by hanging were issued by a Tunisian court for two Tunisians who were involved in the suicide bombing attack that targeted the US Embassy in Tunis on 6 March 2020. The courts sentenced five additional persons to prison sentences for their roles in the bombing: two were sentenced to 20 years, one to life in prison, one to four years, and one to three years.

The bombing took place near the entrance of the US Embassy when two suicide bombers riding a scooter detonated explosives next to a police vehicle. One Tunisian policeman was killed and several more were wounded. The bombing led to a significant hardening of the US Embassy compound in Tunis, including the closure of nearby roads.


The sentencings send a strong message that the counterterrorism agenda of the Tunisian government remains a priority. Particularly given the targeting of a major security partner like the US, the sentences are meant to communicate severity in response to terrorist acts. The death sentences are particularly noteworthy given Tunisia’s long track record of abstaining from the use of the death penalty. Statements by President Kais Saied in late 2020 in favor of the death penalty were some of the first indications of movement away from a decades-long moratorium on executions in Tunisia.


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