Tunisians Continue With Anti-Government Protests - Newslibre

Tunisians Continue With Anti-Government Protests

Thousands of Tunisians continued to take to the streets  on Saturday to protest police repression, corruption and poverty, following several nights of unrest marked by clashes and arrests.

Saturday’s protests come as the North African nation struggles to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has crippled the economy and threatened to overwhelm hospitals.

According to the statistics over 6,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Tunisia, with a record 103 deaths reported on Thursday.

But protesters took to the streets in several parts of the country, including the capital Tunis and the marginalized interior region of Gafsa, to demand the release of hundreds of young people detained during several nights of unrest since January 14.

Mothers in the Tunisian capital are accusing authorities of arbitrarily arresting their children in response to nearly a week of unrest, with rights groups saying at least 1,000 people have been arrested.

“The policeman shoved the door of my building and arrested my son. My neighbours witnessed it,” Meriem Ben Salem said after six nights of trouble on the streets between riot police and disaffected youths.

“Neither police nor Islamists, the people want revolution,” chanted demonstrators in a crowd of several hundred in Tunis, where one person was wounded in brief clashes amid a heavy police presence. Protests were also held in the coastal city of Sfax on Friday.

Tunisians Continue With Anti-Government Protests - Newslibre
Tunisians are demanding for change regardless of who gets into office. – Image Credit: Sputnik news

The neighbourhoods of the working class is where most of the civil unrest has been. This is where anger is boiling over soaring unemployment and a political class accused of having failed to deliver good governance, a decade after the 2011 revolution that toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Economic misery exacerbated by novel coronavirus restrictions in the tourism-reliant nation have pushed growing numbers of Tunisians to try to leave the country.

“The situation is catastrophic,” said Omar Jawadi, 33, a hotel sales manager, who has been paid only half his salary for months.

“The politicians are corrupt, we want to change the government and the system.”

What do Tunisian Authorities and Human Rights Activists Say?

The police have said more than 700 people were arrested over several nights of unrest earlier this week that saw young people hurl rocks and petrol bombs at security forces, who responded with tear gas and water cannon.

Human rights groups on Thursday said at least 1,000 people had been detained.

“Youth live from day to day, we no longer have hope, neither to work nor to study — and they call us troublemakers!” said call centre worker Amine, who has a degree in aerospace engineering.

“We must listen to young people, not send police in by the thousands. The whole system is corrupt, a few families and their supporters control Tunisia’s wealth.”

Tunisia last week marked one decade since Ben Ali fled the country amid mass protests, ending 23 years in power.

Tunisia’s political leadership is divided, with Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi waiting for parliament to confirm a major cabinet reshuffle announced last Saturday.

Also, read: Central African Republic (CAR) Declares Emergency As Rebels Surround Its Capital City Bangui

Tunisians Continue With Anti-Government Protests 1

Author: Moses Echodu

Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.


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