Tunisia demonstrators defy lockdown to protest police brutality

2021 02 06T143031Z 1416092355 RC22NL990H8J RTRMADP 3 TUNISIA PROTESTS

Rally held to mark the anniversary of the 2013 killing of a distinguished activist and to protest towards police abuses.

Hundreds of protesters backed by Tunisia’s highly effective labour union gathered in central Tunis on Saturday, defying a police lockdown that blocked roads in a big space of the capital.

The rally was held to mark the anniversary of the 2013 killing of a distinguished activist and to protest towards police abuses that demonstrators say have imperilled freedoms gained within the 2011 revolution.

Riot police deployed cordons across the metropolis centre, stopping vehicles and many individuals from getting into the streets round Avenue Habib Bourguiba, a witness informed Reuters information company.

“I lived 10 years in freedom … I am not ready to lose it,” stated Haytem Ouslati, a 24-year-old demonstrator. Protesters raised placards condemning police violence and chanted: “No fear. The street belongs to the people.”

Unlike earlier marches in a wave of protests which have unfold throughout Tunisia in current weeks, Saturday’s rally was backed by the UGTT union, the nation’s strongest political organisation with one million members.

Samir Cheffi, a senior UGTT official, stated the protest was wanted to guard liberties. “Today is a cry of alarm to defend the revolution, to protect freedoms under threat,” he stated.

Protests which started final month over inequality have more and more targeted on a lot of arrests and experiences – denied by the Interior Ministry – of abuse of detainees.

Mohammed Ammar, a member of parliament for the Attayar get together, stated he had phoned the prime minister to protest towards the closure of central Tunis.

Protesters chanted towards the reasonable Islamist Ennahdha get together, a member of successive authorities coalitions, and reprised the Arab Spring slogan: “The people want the fall of the regime.”

Ten years after Tunisia’s revolution, its political system is mired in squabbling between the president, prime minister and the parliament because the financial system stagnates.

While some Tunisians are disillusioned by the fruits of the rebellion, others have decried a perceived erosion of the freedoms that democracy secured.

For some, the febrile local weather has recalled the political polarisation after a suspected hardliner assassinated secular activist and lawyer Chokri Belaid in February 2013.

His loss of life triggered a wave of protests in Tunisia that led to a grand discount between the principle Islamist and secular political events to cease the nation sinking into violence.

“We won’t accept Tunisia becoming a barracks. We ask the president to intervene and protect freedoms,” stated Naima Selmi, a lady within the protest.

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