Tunisian police brutally dispersed protesters outside the headquarters of the Cabinet yesterday (July 15). The protesters were calling for reform and were planning to launch a third sit-in at Kasbah square, which is the epicenter of protests in the Tunisian capital Tunis.
Amongst the demands of the protesters were the departure of the Minister of Justice whom they consider unable to fulfill his duties and, “bring to justice the killers of the revolution martyrs”, and the Interior Minister, Hbib Essid, who held key ministerial positions during the regime of Ben Ali.
Protesters also raised slogans condemning the exclusion of youth from the decision making process, and calling for the independence of the judiciary.
Security forces used tear gas and batons to prevent the protesters from gathering and launching the sit-in. On Twitter, Tunisians continue to record and update people around the world of developments on the ground.
Security forces also stormed into a mosque and used batons to beat protesters taking refuge inside it.
English translation: “the cops pushed the door of the mosque, beat up protesters, and expelled the people taking refuge inside”
The following YouTube video features protesters taking refuge inside a mosque near Kasbah Square, chanting “Faithful to Martyrs’ Blood”. Some of them got suffocated by tear gas.
Dozens of protesters were also arrested. A message to free all those arrested was published on the blog Kissa-online:
We are calling out loud for the immediate release of all those arrested (it seems that their number is 48), especially bloggers and Facebook users Mohamed Cheyeh, Shaheed Belhaj and Aman Allah Mansouri.
The brutal methods of the police in dealing with the protesters angered Tunisian bloggers and reminded them of the old methods of the former regime. Here are some of the reactions on Twitter.
English translation: “#Kasbah3 was nothing (300 protesters)! I’m not supporting the sit-in, but I’m against violence exercised by the police.”
English translation: “I think that police officers have not yet understood that we are getting out of a police state. #Kasbah3”
English translation: “I’m not a supporter of #Kasbah3, but pressure of the street is necessary, and tear gas is not justified”
Re-published from Global Voices under Creative Commons License.
Written by Afef Abrougui
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