Monday, July 15, 2024

“Police everywhere, justice nowhere”: hundreds of people demonstrate in Tunisia | Arab Spring: 10 years in the news

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More than 1,000 people arrested in Tunisia in the past two weeks in connection with protests against corruption and police brutality.

Hundreds of Tunisians marched through the capital on Saturday to protest against police abuses which they say endanger the freedoms won in the 2011 revolution that swept away the authoritarian regime.

Hundreds of riot police clashed with the protesters, which sparked clashes. Some protesters threw bottles, while police beat some protesters with batons.

There have been almost daily protests since mid-January, the anniversary of the Tunisian revolution that sparked uprisings in the region in 2011, known as the Arab Spring.

Many Tunisians are angry with a political class seen as locked in power struggles and disconnected from the suffering of many facing soaring prices and high unemployment.

Amid sporadic clashes, police have arrested more than 1,000 people during protests over the past two weeks against financial inequality, the marginalization of poor areas and what protesters say are harsh police tactics.

A young man died last week in the central town of Sbeitla, which his family accused him of being hit by a tear gas canister. Amnesty International on Thursday called on the Tunisian authorities to investigate his death.

In Tunis, hundreds of people joined a protest in the center of the capital on Saturday with scuffles that erupted as police blocked the road to the main avenue Habib Bourguiba, where the Ministry of Justice building is located. ‘Interior.

Denouncing what they say is police repression and government corruption, some demonstrators held up placards which read: “Police everywhere, justice nowhere”.

Other protesters condemned the harsh sentences handed down in drug cases after a Tunisian court recently handed down 30-year prison sentences to three people who smoke drugs.

“The security forces are repressing us and want the return of a police state,” protester Majdi Sliti, 33, told AFP news agency. “We will not accept this.

“They want to steal the principles won since the revolution,” said Mohammed Smida, a protester who compared Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi to former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, ousted in 2011 after nearly 25 years in power.

“Today our right to protest is threatened by the new Ben Ali,” said Smida.


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