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The frozen Tunisian parliament and political parties condemned what they described as the blatant attacks that affected political and civil leaders and citizens who participated in the demonstrations of the 11th anniversary of the January 14 revolution that toppled the late President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, especially since the authorities banned demonstrations on the pretext of the outbreak of the Corona virus.
In a statement, the Presidency of Parliament demanded the release of the kidnapped, arrested and imprisoned, stressing that peaceful demonstration and expression of opinion is a right guaranteed by the constitution, law and international conventions, and that the people are able to defend it, and are ready to sacrifice more to complete the democratic transition.
A joint statement by the Republican Party, the Democratic Current and the Ettakatol Party for Labor and Freedoms condemned what they described as the brutal attacks that targeted the demonstrators.
It affirmed its intention to file a complaint with the Public Prosecution against the Minister of Interior, for violently assaulting and unlawfully abducting protesters, and demanded the release of the abductees and the opening of an investigation into the circumstances of their abduction.
On the other hand, the spokesperson for the Tunisian General Labor Union, Sami Tahiri, said that history cannot be erased with the stroke of a pen, referring to Said’s cancellation on January 14, the date of commemorating the anniversary of the revolution by virtue of a presidential decree, and his replacement on December 17, which is The date of the outbreak of protests from Sidi Bouzid 11 years ago.
Al-Tahri added – in a post he posted on his official Facebook page – that “January 14th belongs to the Tunisians, which cannot be erased and can be restored.”
disperse the protesters
On Friday, Tunisian security forces dispersed demonstrators with water cannons and tear gas canisters who tried to reach Habib Bourguiba Street in Tunis.
Protesters flocked to Mohammed V Street in response to the call of political parties and personalities, and raised slogans calling for the overthrow of what they described as the coup and the end of the exceptional measures announced by President Saeed on July 25.
And the governor of the capital, Kamal El-Feki, had announced on Wednesday – in a statement – the postponement or cancellation of all demonstrations open for the participation or attendance of the public, whether in open or closed spaces, for a period of two weeks, subject to renewal, as part of the measures to combat Corona.
Pictures also showed a demonstration that took place in the city of Tataouine in southern Tunisia, where slogans were raised talking about adhering to the revolution’s project and the need to complete it.
Banners were also raised regarding the current developments, especially the decisions of President Kais Saied since last July 25.
The “Citizens Against the Coup” campaign in Tunisia said that the security forces carried out a campaign of arrests against demonstrators without any respect for human rights.
The campaign also reported that the security forces released the former dean of lawyers, Abdul Razzaq Al-Kilani, and the lawyer, Nawal Al-Toumi, after arresting them for hours and assaulting them, after demonstrators were taken to a security center in the capital.
Meanwhile, the “Citizens Against the Coup” campaign published pictures it said were of the closure of streets leading to Habib Bourguiba Avenue in the capital, amid intense security reinforcements.
Ghazi Al-Shawashi, Secretary-General of the Democratic Current Party, said that the attacks that took place during yesterday’s demonstrations are a setback for the path of rights and freedoms.
The Secretary-General of the Workers’ Party, Hamma Hammami, also considered that the suppression of the protesters against President Saeed is a return to the police state led by the president.
Hammami stressed that closing Habib Bourguiba Street is a political decision primarily aimed at suppressing protest movements, as he put it. In a radio statement, he expected Tunisia to witness an escalation of repression and a war against protest movements and the media, after the war against the judiciary.
In this context, the French newspaper Liberation said that its correspondent in Tunisia, Mathieu Galtier, was subjected to severe violence by policemen when he was filming a violent attack on a protester, and that his phone and press card were confiscated.
The newspaper, which strongly condemned the attack, quoted its reporter as saying, “They started beating me, I was lying on the ground… I was screaming, I’m a journalist. Someone hit me with gas… They kicked me and took my phone and press card.”
The online newspaper Haqiqa’a in Tunisia also said that members of the police confiscated their correspondent’s phone and viewed her private messages and photos while she was filming during the protest.
Earlier on Friday, Business News owner Nizar Bahloul said a videographer was briefly detained and then released.
It was not immediately possible to obtain comment from the Tunisian authorities regarding journalists’ complaints during the protest.