Fresh protests in Tunisia against president’s crackdown on dissent
Tunis, Mar 5 (EFE).- Hundreds of Tunisians on Sunday took to the streets to protest president Kais Saied’s policies and to demand the release of detained opposition figures, in defiance of a government ban on demonstrations.
Photographs of the lawyers, politicians, journalists and judges arrested in recent weeks dominated the protest in the central part of the Tunisian capital.
“I am here to support human rights and political detainees, who are arrested solely for their opinion,” Selim, one of the protesters gathering in front of the Municipal Theatre in Tunis, told Efe.
Sunday’s protests, called by the country’s main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front (NSF), come a day after a massive rally led by Tunisia’s influential General Labour Union (UGTT) to decry Saied’s “one-man rule.”
According to human rights organizations, at least 18 people have been accused of conspiring against the state, 10 of them are held in preventive detention.
Tunisians have staged a series of protests in recent months against Saied, who dissolved parliament in March last year, months after he decided to suspend it as part of a string of measures. Months later, a new constitution granting Saied more powers was approved in a referendum.
In February, Saied ordered security forces to stop illegal sub-Saharan immigration, claiming it was aimed at changing the North African country’s demography, in remarks that have incited violence against sub-Saharan migrants.EFE