A Tunisian judge has begun a probe into political opponents of President Kais Saied on charges of conspiring against state security, according to Reuters.
Over the past few months, a surge of arrests have been made against Saied’s opponents, including a former mayor of Tunis, a freelance journalist, and a former military officer. Critics of Saied are calling it a political crackdown, which he has denied with some even going as far as to calling his actions since taking office as a “coup”.
The recent investigation is spreading fears of more detentions, especially after Nadia Akacha, Saied’s former chief of staff and closest confidante, fled to France after recordings emerged of her criticizing Saied.
Tunisia’s opposition party and rights groups alike have accused Saied of serious violations of power, including his shutdown of parliament in 2021 and subsequent new constitution which gave him virtually unchecked power and was passed through a referendum with a low turnout. He has also been accused of undermining judicial authority through his appointment of members of Tunisia’s top judiciary committee and threats to judges against freeing his imprisoned opponents.