Speaking out for what she believes is right runs in activist Chaima Issa’s blood. As the daughter of a former political prisoner, Chaima speaks truth to power. Even if the cost is her freedom. She has been banned from travel and, if brought to trial, could face years in prison and a possible death sentence. Call on the Tunisian authorities to immediately cease unfounded investigations and other restrictions against Chaima Issa.
What’s the problem?
When Tunisian president Kais Saied suspended parliament in July 2021, dismissed the prime minister, and seized control of the country citing emergency powers, Chaima was one of the first to publicly oppose him. Since he seized power, human rights in Tunisia are more fragile than ever. Freedom of expression is under attack. Military courts target critics of the government, and the legal system lacks independence.
After meeting foreign diplomats along with other Tunisian opposition figures to discuss the political situation in Tunisia, Chaima was arrested on 22 February 2023, as part of an investigation for alleged “conspiracy”, a charge that could result in decades in prison or even the death penalty if found guilty.
She was released after more than four months of arbitrary detention, but the case against her continues and the authorities have banned her from travelling abroad and “appearing in public spaces”.
A military court, which lacks independence, is also investigating Chaima for criticising the authorities on a radio show. She faces up to 10 years in prison under this charge.
What can you do to help?
Sign the petition and call on the Tunisian authorities to immediately drop the baseless investigation and other restrictions against Chaima Issa.