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Protests in Tunisia against security forces’ excessive use of violence

December 27, 2018 at 9:18 am

People attend the unemployment protests as they gather to mark the celebration for 8th anniversary of revolution at Bouazizi Square in Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia on December 17, 2018. ( Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency )

A march in the Tunisian city of Jebiniana was held yesterday in protest against security forces’ excessive use of violence against protesters.

This came after clashes erupted between protests and security forces in the city of Sfax on Saturday following the death of a young man during who was trying to escape police on a motorcycle.

Civil rights and political activist Bouraoui Zghidi told the German Press Agency (DPA) that about a thousand representatives of civil society and parties participated in the peaceful march through the city centre on the main road to protest against the violence of the security forces.

Zghidi added: “The police used tear gas in an indiscriminate and excessive manner, which caused confusion and suffocation in the whole city and affected all the citizens. The police intervention was a collective punishment.”

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The march called for reducing the use of tear gas and for an investigation to be launched into the circumstances of the young man’s death during the security chase.

Eyewitnesses from the city said that the chase was triggered by the fact that the young man did not have the correct paperwork for the motorcycle. Protesters suspected he was run over by a security car, but the Interior Ministry denied this.

Sfax witnessed more clashes yesterday with protesters throwing stones at security forces and one demonstrator trying to burn himself in front of the police station. Security officers quickly intervened.

Zghidi told the DPA that “the city is preparing to go on a general strike on Thursday in protest.”