President Kais Saied, elected in 2019, granted himself extraordinary powers in July 2021, then dissolved the Parliament and drafted a tailor-made constitution that Tunisia adopted a year later via referendum. Since his power grab, Saied largely undermined the independence of the judiciary in an effort to subjugate judges and prosecutors to the executive branch. The authorities have escalated their crackdown on political opponents and perceived critics for their peaceful activism or public criticism of the president, the security forces, or other officials. They have stepped-up arbitrary arrests, travel bans, and prosecutions, sometimes in military courts. Police occasionally used excessive force against demonstrators. Black African foreigners faced increased violence and arbitrary arrests after Saied fanned the flames of anti-immigrant violence in February 2023.

map of Tunisia