The year 2022 came to a close with elections that attracted only 11.2% of voters, the lowest turnout in over a decade. Politics is no longer the focus, while the economy is struggling in the wake of a trying year marked by shortages, soaring inflation,
and complicated negotiations with the IMF in the background.
A turbulent political year
With a national consultation, a referendum, and legislative elections that were symbolically scheduled for December 17, Kaïs Saied has been trying to consolidate and legitimize his power. However, the new Constitution, as well as the procedures implemented
by the new electoral law, have proven to be fraught with problems.
In the meantime, many of the measures taken by the President have caused a great deal of concern. Decree-laws threatening the work of civil society and journalists, the dissolution of the Supreme Judicial Council, the dismissal of a number of judges...
Kaïs Saied has attacked not only the rights and freedoms but also the independence of the judiciary.
Since 2011, Civil Society has waged many battles for human rights, justice and the democratic process. However, it has now been demonised by Kaïs Saïed, who is endangering the achievements of the past decade.
One week after the dissolution of the CSM was announced, a decree was issued to establish a provisional council, de facto burying its predecessor. However, the new composition has completely replaced the member election process with appointments - some of which are the exclusive prerogative of Kaïs Saïed himself. inkyfada provides an infographic overview.
In the middle of the night between February 5 and 6, 2022, President Kaïs Saïed announced the dissolution of the Supreme Judicial Council. What is the role of this institution and what does the dissolution mean? inkyfada takes a closer look.
One year after assuming full powers, Kaïs Saied is implementing his promises: drafting a new Constitution as well as a referendum that will, according to him, "give the people power". Organised in barely two months, several malfunctions have hindered the process.
Why do most trials drag on for several years? Confronted with the question of the slowness of the judicial system, judges tend to blame it on the lack of human and material resources. But what exactly is the cause?
Is justice independent in Tunisia? Police threats, judges' leniency with law enforcement bodies, the executive power’s stranglehold on the judicial system...inkyfada looks into the issues threatening the independence of the judiciary, a few months following Kaïs Saied's arbitrary dismissal of 57 judges.
In addition to our numerous investigations and analytical articles, inkyfada podcast has made several productions about the country's political life. Inkytalk, the news program produced by the inkyfada editorial staff, has regularly featured civil society
actors and researchers to analyze and dissect the evolution of the political situation.
We have also produced two new series entitled "At the heart of the project" and "On the brink of Justice". The first one interviews Kaïs Saied's supporters, those who ran his electoral campaign and who consider themselves "at the heart of the political
project" of the President.
The six episodes of "On the brink of Justice" delve into the inner workings of the judicial system through exclusive interviews with judges and lawyers who address the current political situation, as well as criminal procedures, infrastructure, and the
judiciary’s relations with the police and the executive.
Kais Saied's landslide victory in the 2019 presidential elections warrants a closer look at the causes, contributors, and subsequent consequences. Throughout the four episodes of the podcast "At the heart of the Project", Inkyfada attempts to introduce the members of its electoral campaign and the people who consider themselves to be "at the very heart of the project" that was represented by Kais Said. After the legal changes initiated by the president following July 25, this project is becoming increasingly clear.
Inkytalk, the editorial team's programme on topical issues.
Through the "On the brink of Justice" podcast, consisting of six episodes, we delve into the facts and realities of the judicial system and its relationship with the citizens and the executive branch. From there, we examine the length of litigation, infrastructure, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the relationship between judges and law enforcement. The podcast will also address the recent dismissals of certain judges and the publication of new texts covering the functioning of the judiciary, such as the new constitution in its fifth chapter, which deals with the judicial function and the law on criminal reconciliation.
Inflation, shortages and IMF
Inflation reached 9.8% in November 2022. Some basic commodities have tripled in cost. Prices have soared and many necessities - butter, milk, even mineral water - have gone out of stock. Signs saying "No more than one pack per person" have become a regular
sight in supermarkets.
Meanwhile, the government has been trying to reach an agreement with the IMF. Having finally agreed to grant a loan amounting to 1.9 billion dinars - Tunisia had asked for double that amount - the IMF has finally decided to postpone the review of said
agreement, originally scheduled for December 19. We'll keep you posted.
While the Minister of Trade, Fadila Rebhi, confirms that the necessary quantities of the subsidised products are available, and explains the lack of supply as a result of haste, the shops continue to lack subsidised goods such as vegetable oil and, above all, grain products. How can this discrepancy between the Ministry's statements and the reality be explained?
The threat of a potential food crisis resulting from the war between Russia and Ukraine and the internationally soaring prices of grains have plunged the whole world into a state of fear. How is this crisis threatening the stability of Tunisia's food supply in light of the country's already fragile economic climate with rising debts and dwindling foreign exchange reserves?
In October 2022, IMF staff and the Tunisian authorities have reached a staff-level agreement about 1.9 billion dollars that would be granted to Tunisia. The Tunisian government had asked for twice as much, while the socio-economic context of the country is increasingly complicated for citizens.
A country under strain
The high cost of living has taken its toll on the citizens' daily lives. Several demonstrations against the President and protests over the socio-economic situation have taken place this year.
In Zarzis, a movement of unprecedented magnitude sprang up in September in the wake of the sinking of a boat carrying 17 people who were trying to reach Europe. Zarzis residents are still protesting to this day.
Finally, while the trial of Omar Laabidi was still ongoing, four years after the tragic drowning of the young supporter, inkyfada took a stand against police violence by producing the webdoc "Number of deaths caused by police violence, since 2011".
In West and North Africa, survivors of migrants who've vanished have come together to support each other and pay tribute to their family members. But above all, they're trying any means possible to find out the truth and get justice after years of silence.
Numerous Tunisians have lost their lives as a result of excessive police violence. Virtually none of these victims have had access to a fair trial. Instead, evidence and testimonies are lost in the intricate web of the judicial system. Most of these cases have yet to pass the preliminary research or investigation stage, reflecting a recurring pattern of impunity.
A large number of farmers are protesting against the dramatic increase in fodder prices, which have reached 300 dinars per ton. The protests reached most of the dairy basins during the week of May 6-14, 2022, until the Ministry of Commerce decided to freeze the price increases for livestock feed during the month of May.
inkyfada sheds light on opaque affairs
Investigation is the essence of our work. When the oil tanker Xelo ran aground off the coast of Gabes, inkyfada conducted a detailed investigation to fully grasp the hidden aspects of this affair and the authorities' involvement. As for the mega solar
power plant project in the south of the country, our journalists looked into whether it would really be profitable for Tunisia.
You can find some of our investigations this year
here, and don't forget to visit our website to see more!
"Nothing pushes you to take the bitter option like having a worse bitter option. Our country is suffering from unemployment and my son dreams, like his peers, to have a family. Irregular migration is easier than staying here and watching people develop while he is helpless and humiliated by the lack of resources. I will not wait until I see him hang himself," he said. With these words, Mahmoud summarizes his motives in raising money for his son, to travel in an irregular migration, or harqa "burn" in the Tunisian colloquial Arabic, through Serbia to France, following the path of hundreds of young people from the state of Tataouine.
With the current political situation and Kaïs Saied's frequent speeches, our journalists have tried to make sense of the President's project. Beyond the analyses and reports, we listened to 30 hours of the President's speeches. What are the recurring
topics and words? Who is the President pointing the finger at? The figures he uses, are they real and verified? The webdoc "Thus spoke Kaïs Saied" answers these questions (available in Arabic and French).
In 2022, we continued to address issues that are close to our hearts and that we believe are relevant: migration, climate, human rights, economy...
We have also made an original portrait of the tenniswoman Ons Jabeur who "led Tunisia to the top of the tennis world" this summer. Find out more about her story and her career through archive photos and interviews with her and her family.
Tunisia was both the first Arab and the first Muslim country to legalise abortion in 1973, but fifty years later this legal right is still not guaranteed. Between medicine shortages, treatment refusal by health care workers, and regional inequalities - what is the reality of access to abortion in Tunisia?
At 27 years old, Ons Jabeur is the second best female tennis player in the world. She has accumulated international titles, making her the first Tunisian as well as Arab woman to reach the highest levels of world tennis. Inkyfada takes a look at her journey from Monastir to the tennis top.
Since the revolution, the money that Tunisian migrants send to their families in Tunisia is increasing significantly. Even during the pandemic, these so-called remittances reached a record high. Why? And how does this impact the Tunisian economy?
When it comes to sound productions, inkyfada podcast has finalized the series "Women on borrowed time, from abuse to femicide", and has produced "Shifting poles", a series that explores bipolar disorder by giving a voice to people affected by it; we also
addressed the professional consequences of Covid-19 with "Covid-19: 7 lives on hold". Finally, 2022 marks the launch of our series "Talking papers", in which researchers explain their work. In the first episode, Amine Bouzaiene talked about tax justice.
Many more episodes are coming in 2023!
Our team has also produced two "one-shot" podcasts: "A life on hold : Our stories with cancer" and "The story behind my undocumented father". Both productions are intimate discussions about topics that can sometimes be overwhelming.
This series tells the story of women victims of domestic violence, some of whom have caused their death. This is the case of Refka Cherni, killed by her husband in May 2021 in Kef. In this podcast, relatives of women victims of femicide as well as women victims of violence testify to put these dramas at the heart of the public debate.
Through the stories of Rania and Omar, the podcast "Entre-pôles" paints the real picture of psychiatric disorders in Tunisia, by allowing health professionals and those concerned to speak. Against a backdrop of humour and bitterness, they share their experiences and, each in their own way, attempt to deconstruct the reality of bipolar disorders and the situation of the psychiatric system in Tunisia.
The Tunisian research scene at universities, other research centers, and civil society institutions produces dozens of valuable research papers each year. Nevertheless, this extensive production rarely finds its way to the general public and is only occasionally used to enrich the public debate. In a volatile political and social context, we try through this podcast to contribute to societal debates in Tunisia, by bringing to light, on each occasion, a research paper produced by a Tunisian researcher in humanities and social sciences, as well as in politics, economics, and law.
The emergence of Covid-19 has dramatically affected the lives of many people, especially on the professional front. How did Tunisians who don't have the privilege of remote work cope with this crisis? What is their situation today? inkyfada interviewed seven professionals from different regions of Tunisia: they look back on the last three years and share with us the impact and aftermath of Covid-19 on their lives.
"It's not that far-fetched." 12 years ago, when Olfa learned she had cancer, she was not surprised. It was as if she already knew, "instinctively". Emna, diagnosed last year, agrees. "The body knows.”
What does it mean to be "undocumented" in France? How do you build your life, far from your family and your language, in fear of deportation? From Zarzis to Paris, this intimate family podcast tells the story of the daily life and heritage of my father, who arrived in France in the 1980s.
Our permanent sections
Many of you have been following this section: in 2022, the "Stouchis" have become bi-monthly. Every second Sunday, we dive into the wallet of a Tunisian citizen, and it's a different profile each time.
History-wise: the series "Beyond the dates" keeps on going. This year, two episodes were released. The first one focuses on May 12, 1881 and the signing of the treaty that established the French "protectorate" over Tunisia. The second one covers the July
25, 1957 events and the establishment of the Tunisian Republic as a new political regime. This date was particularly significant this year with the referendum on the Constitution, and Arwa Labidi's archival work allowed us to really understand the present
in the light of the past.
Finally, inkyfada has published several photo essays. Images have become a true storytelling tool to address social, environmental, economic and political issues. These works are the fruit of collaborations between inkyfada and independent photographers.
Membership and newsletter
Aside from our productions, inkyfada also wishes to get closer to you: we have therefore launched a membership program this year. By registering, you will be able to view your history, save articles and podcasts that interest you and even participate
in exclusive events organized by our team.
You can also subscribe to our newsletter, sent every first Friday of the month, in the language of your choice. Join our community and help strengthen our independence!
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