Tunisia's president Saied extends state of emergency until end of 2022

Tunisia's president Saied extends state of emergency until end of 2022
President Kais Saied has extended Tunisia's state of emergency, in place since 2015, until 31 December of this year.
2 min read
19 February, 2022
Tunisia's state of emergency has been extended continuously since late 2015 [Getty]

President Kais Saied on Friday extended Tunisia's state of emergency until 31 December of this year, the official gazette said.

The North African country has been under a state of emergency since 2015 after an attack in which several presidential guards were killed. 

The measure, extended continuously since late 2015, grants exceptional powers to the country's security forces. 

It allows measures to "ensure the control of the press" and for strikes and meetings that "create disorder" to be banned.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch said that "Tunisian authorities are using emergency laws to place people in secret detention", and warned that the practice was becoming ever more common under President Kais Saied.

"The Tunisian authorities are using what they are calling assigned residences to conceal secret detentions on the pretext of a state of emergency," the rights group said in a statement.

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Several civil societies in Tunisia have also voiced concerns that freedoms are being rolled back after President Saied's string of extended emergency measures.

Saied on 25 July sacked the government, suspended parliament, and put himself in charge of the prosecution.

He also lifted parliamentarians' immunity, and several now face trial on corruption, fraud and similar charges

The country is facing a grinding economic downturn and has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, further battering its economy.