Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Sunday, Apr 02, 2023

Tunisians defy protest ban to demand release of Saied critics

Tunisians defy protest ban to demand release of Saied critics

Hundreds of Tunisians rallied Sunday in defiance of a protest ban, demanding the release of more than 20 prominent figures opposed to the president who were arrested in recent weeks.
President Kais Saied sacked the government and froze parliament in a 2021 power grab and imposed sweeping changes to the political system of the sole democracy to have emerged from the Arab Spring uprisings.

More than 20 political figures have been arrested in the North African country in recent weeks, including members the main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front (NSF) and its main component, the Islamist-leaning Ennahdha party.

“Freedom for the detainees,” chanted the demonstrators, most of them supporters of the NSF, with many waving Tunisian flags and pictures of detainees, AFP journalists said.

Denouncing Saied’s power grab 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 before charging police barricades to then march toward Habib Bourguiba Avenue, where the crowd soon swelled to more than 500, reporters said.

A policeman used a loudspeaker to urge demonstrators to move out of the iconic avenue — the site of repeated protests — and head toward the headquarters of Al Joumhouri party several kilometers away, saying: “Please, the march is banned.”

Issam Chebbi, head of Al Joumhouri party, is among the Saied opponents who have been arrested in the crackdown launched in February.

His brother Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, who heads the NSF, addressed the crowd and charged the arrests were “arbitrary.”

Protester Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, 78, said: “We are defending a national cause and we will not stop until democracy and institutions return.”

Other detainees include senior opposition figures Jawhar Ben Mbarek, businessman Kamel Eltaief, the head of Tunisia’s most popular radio station Mosaique FM, Noureddine Boutar, as well as trade union officials.

Mbarek’s father, Ezzedine Hazgui, who was imprisoned under the dictatorship of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, attended the rally and denounced Saied in comments to AFP.

“The president has placed all state institutions under his control and has divided the people. The police protects an illegitimate president,” Hazgui said.

Saied has accused those arrested of “terrorism” and causing recurrent food shortages as well as plotting against the state.

Rights group Amnesty International has labelled the arrests a “politically motivated witch hunt.”

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

During that rally, UGTT chief Noureddine Taboubi accused Saied of targeting the union as part of a wider crackdown against critics, and called on him to accept “dialogue.”

Related Articles

Saudi Press
The G-7 aims to make global crypto regulations tougher
Don’t Dismiss China’s Peacemaking Bid
Father obliterates council members following viral TikTok of biological male masturbating in women’s bathroom..
EU's von der Leyen: "We know this is an era where we rely on one single supplier. China. 98% of our rare earth supply."
China and Brazil have signed a new deal that will allow them to trade in their own currencies, bypassing the US dollar as an intermediary
Elon Musk and Others Call for Pause on A.I., Citing ‘Profound Risks to Society’
Nashville style execution
“We've had evidence prior to the pandemic that masks were largely ineffective at preventing community transmission of influenza “
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz:
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rejects being labeled a "billionaire"
Jamie Dimon is being deposed over JPMorgan Chase role in Epstein lawsuits
This is how an electric car saves all the energy that he would have spent if he had lived 50 years longer.
Brand new security footage has just been released to the public showing the Active shooter Audrey Elizabeth Hale drove to Covenant Church School in her Honda Fit this morning, parked, and shot her way into the building
Social Media censoring users for saying the true
Smart Iranian fashion designer teaching dummy TV anchors lesson about reality
U.S. charges FTX's Bankman-Fried with paying $40 million bribe
Fallen 'Crypto King' Who Owes Millions to Investors Was Kidnapped and Tortured
Regulators blame social media for SVB's rapid collapse: 'Complete game changer'
AOC explains why she opposes banning TikTok
UK: Humza Yousaf replaces Nicola Sturgeon as SNP leader and first minister in Scotland
In a dramatic U-turn against His Government: Judicial Reform Legislation Must Be Halted, Says Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
A Mississippian man, who was once considered a “ticking time bomb,” has lost a whopping 165 kilograms! What motivated this incredible transformation?
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Watch: “They are wounded but unbowed, unbreakable.”
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"