Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Home » Tunisia Protest Marks Two Years Since President Kais Saied’s Power Grab

Tunisia Protest Marks Two Years Since President Kais Saied’s Power Grab

by Virendra Naidu
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“Down with the coup, freedom for all the prisoners,” the protesters chanted as they gathered in the heart of the capital braving temperatures that topped 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) in response to a call by the main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front.

The opposition has kept up its protests against Saied‘s dramatic July 25, 2021 move sacking the government and suspending parliament, despite the arrest in February of more than 20 opposition, media and business figures on charges of “conspiracy against state security”.

Writer Chaima Issa and former minister Lazhar Akremi were released earlier this month but the others remain in custody despite the appeals of human rights groups.

Read moreTunisia’s anti-migrant discourse: ‘A way to distract from the country’s problems’

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The leader of what had been the largest bloc in parliament, the Islamist-leaning Ennahdha party, Rached Ghannouchi, is also in custody, serving a one-year prison sentence on terrorism-related charges following his April 17 arrest.

Rights groups have condemned a “witch hunt” aimed at “repressing” freedom of opinion in the North African country which had been the sole democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.

“Decree by decree, blow by blow, President Saied and his government have dramatically undermined respect for human rights in Tunisia since his power grab in July 2021,” Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa director, Heba Morayef, said in a statement.

“In doing so, he has stripped away basic freedoms that Tunisians fought hard to earn and fostered a climate of repression and impunity.”

Source : France24

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