Demonstrations erupted in several Tunisian cities to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the late President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and organizers said that the authorities arrested a number of protesters.
The authorities pushed for security reinforcements, and closed a number of streets, including Lahabib Bourguiba Street in the center of the capital, while the “Citizens Against the Coup” initiative announced the arrest of a number of protesters.
Political and civil forces demanded to go out to commemorate the anniversary, declare adherence to the path of the revolution, and reject the measures announced by President Qais Saeed, while the Ministry of Interior called for not gathering and demonstrating.
The Ministry of the Interior said in a statement that gathering in the streets violates the government’s decision to cancel all demonstrations in order to preserve the health and safety of citizens.
Suppression of freedoms
On the other hand, the Ennahda movement accused the country’s authorities of seeking to put a political and security hand on the public media.
In a statement signed by its president, Rached Ghannouchi, Ennahda said that the suppression of rights and freedoms was manifested in the deprivation of political parties from appearing in the public media, and in hitting the union’s right to strike, protest and negotiate in order to improve the deteriorating conditions of this sector.
And she considered that the authority is seeking to put a political and security hand on the public media, whose liberation through the revolution was the greatest gain.
In media statements last Tuesday, the head of the Press Syndicate, Mahdi Al-Jelassi, said that there is a political decision to prevent all parties from entering public television and participating in its programmes, which represents a major setback for press freedom in the country.
However, the Director General of Public Television, Awatef Al-Saqrouni, said, in press statements on the same day, that there is no decision or instruction from any party to prevent hosting political parties.
incitement to annihilation
On the other hand, Ennahda warned in its statement of the danger of continuing the rhetoric of incitement against the judiciary and judges.
It called on all parties to stand firmly against any attempt to target the constitutional gains in ensuring the independence of the judiciary, especially the Supreme Judicial Council.
The debate on the independence of the judiciary has flared up since Justice Minister Laila Jaffal announced last October the preparation of a draft law related to the Supreme Judicial Council, which angered many judges.
The judges considered the Minister of Justice’s statements an interference in the judicial affairs, at a time when the country’s President Qais Saied refuted this, stressing that the preparation of this project will be carried out with the participation of the judges themselves.
perpetuate the revolution
On the other hand, Ennahda called on the Tunisian public to celebrate the anniversary of the January 14, 2011 revolution, denouncing attempts to use the epidemiological health situation to suppress freedom of expression and demonstration.
And she said, “The recent decisions of the government (imposing a night curfew and preventing gatherings) are a pre-emption of the possible popular rejection of taxes and price increases.”
And the day before yesterday, Wednesday, the Wali of Tunisia, Kamal El-Feki, announced in a statement the postponement or cancellation of all demonstrations open to 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.
In the past few days, many political parties and organizations, including Ennahda, have called on Tunisians to demonstrate on January 14 to celebrate the revolution, and to reject President Said’s path.
In anticipation of the protest movements, Habib Bourguiba Street in the capital, Tunis, has witnessed intensive security reinforcements since Friday morning.
Anadolu Agency reported that a large number of security forces have been stationed on Bourguiba Street since the early hours of the morning.
Since last July 25, Tunisia has been witnessing a political crisis against the backdrop of exceptional measures, most notably the freezing of parliament’s competencies, the lifting of the immunity of its deputies, the abolition of the constitutionality monitoring body, the issuance of legislation by presidential decrees, the dismissal of the prime minister and the appointment of new ones.
The majority of political and civil forces in Tunisia reject these measures, and consider them a coup against the constitution. On the other hand, they are supported by other forces that see them as a correction to the course of the 2011 revolution, which overthrew the rule of the late President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (1987-2011).