In Tunisia, several hundred people braved an important security system and the ban on demonstrations taken as part of health measures, Friday, January 14, to mark their opposition to President Kaïs Saïed, AFP journalists noted. “Down with the coup d’etat! « , shouted about 300 demonstrators gathered on the avenue Mohamed-V, in the center of Tunis.
An imposing police system has been put in place to prevent demonstrators from accessing the main artery of the capital, Avenue Habib-Bourguiba. Protesters who managed to break the police cordon were dispersed with batons and tear gas, according to AFP journalists, who also reported arrests.
About fifty people managed to approach the buildings of the Ministry of the Interior, in a street adjacent to Avenue Habib-Bourguiba. « You work for Sissi and the Emirates », launched a woman to the address of a police officer, alluding to the fact that the Egyptian leader and the Gulf country are accused by their detractors of having supported the coup de force of Mr. Saïed, on July 25, 2021, when ‘he arrogated to himself full powers.
Strong tensions with Ennahda
Despite the ban decreed by the authorities on Wednesday due to a strong resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic, several political parties, including the Islamist-inspired formation Ennahda, had announced the maintenance of their gatherings on Friday. Ennahda, in the sights of President Saïed – who suspended the Parliament that this party had controlled for ten years – affirmed « Refuse the political instrumentalisation of the health situation in order to destroy what remains of fundamental rights and freedoms ».
These protests come as tensions between Ennahda and Mr. Saïed, already very high since the July coup, escalated after the arrest on December 31 and hospitalization under police surveillance of the one of the strong men of the party, the former Minister of Justice Noureddine Bhiri. Jawhar Ben Mbarek, a figure of the Tunisian left at the head of a collective of opponents of the » Rebellion « President Saïed, was also present on Friday in one of the demonstrations.
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