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Tunisians defy protest ban to demand launch of president’s critics

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A whole lot of Tunisians rallied in Tunis Sunday (Mar. 5) in defiance of a protest ban.

They demanded the discharge of greater than 20 distinguished figures against the president who have been arrested in latest weeks. The persona included members the primary opposition coalition, the Nationwide Salvation Entrance (NSF).

Among the many protestors NSF members, kinfolk of imprisoned public figures a few of whom have been locked behind bars underneath former ruler and ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

“The message that we’re sending in the present day is ‘No to concern’,” Lamine Bouazizi, a member of the Nationwide Salvation Entrance mentioned.

“Tunisia belongs to its folks and to not an opportunist who needs to set it on fireplace! He’s following within the footsteps of Mussolini and Hitler, these two criminals who set their nations on fireplace! We is not going to permit a Hitler junior to destroy Tunisia!”

“This putschist [Editor’s note: President Kais Saied] has no ears, he doesn’t hearken to anybody!” mentioned Ezzeddine Hazgui, a member of the Nationwide Salvation Entrance (NSF) whose son Jawhar Ben Mbarek was arrested.

 He’s a dictator, who doesn’t have the capability to dictate, and he places folks in jail as a result of he fears it and doesn’t know that activists don’t concern any jail!”

Hazgui, who was imprisoned underneath the dictatorship of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, attended the rally and denounced Saied in feedback. 

Saied has accused these arrested of “terrorism” and inflicting recurrent meals shortages in addition to plotting towards the state.

In February, the UN excessive commissioner for Human rights expressed “concern over the deepening crackdown towards perceived political opponents and civil society in Tunisia, together with by measures taken by the authorities that proceed to undermine the independence of the judiciary.”

Contested chief

President Kais Saied sacked the federal government and froze parliament in a 2021 energy seize and imposed adjustments to the country’s political system.

Denouncing Saied’s energy seize as a “coup”, the protesters defied a ban on demonstrations imposed by Tunis authorities.

Initially dozens gathered by a key bus and tramway station in central Tunis earlier than charging police barricades to then march in direction of Habib Bourguiba Avenue, the place the group quickly swelled to greater than 500, reporters mentioned.

A policeman used a loudspeaker to induce demonstrators to maneuver out of the enduring avenue — the location of repeated protests — and head in direction of the headquarters of Al Joumhouri occasion a number of kilometres away, saying: “Please, the march is banned”.

The NSF had called for the demonstration, which came a day after more than 3,000 joined a Tunis rally organised by the powerful UGTT trade union.