Tunisia: Tunisian NGOs and associations in the crosshairs of President Kais Saied

After political opponents, judges, journalists and migrants, it is now Tunisian civil society that is in the sights of President Kais Saied. On Friday evening, November 24, the president gave a vehement speech to an audience of members of the government.

Tunisian President Kais Saied, pictured here at the U.S.-Africa Summit, in Washington, Dec. 14, 2022. (illustration image) © Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images via AFP

By: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Tunis, Amira Souilem

In Kais Saied's sights: Tunisian NGOs receiving foreign funds that can reach several million dinars according to the president. "This has to be stopped," he said.

A speech that came as little surprise in Tunisia, as the head of state is used to pointing out and denouncing what he calls "foreign interference" in the country.

Since taking full power in July 2021, the Tunisian president has undone all the checks and balances one by one. Despite the rise of authoritarianism, some Tunisian NGOs and associations continued to criticize his economic and political choices.

They are now accused of collusion with foreign intelligence services by the Tunisian president and, dried up at the source of their funding, they may find it more difficult to continue their work of fact-checking and monitoring freedoms.

The statement comes a month before an election to elect the second chamber of the Tunisian Assembly.

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