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Tunisia: Ghannouchi affirms right to demonstrate 'peacefully'

Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rashid Al Ghannouchi attends the 4th congress of Nahda movement student branches at Tunisia University in Tunis, Tunisia on 18 January 2020. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rashid Al Ghannouchi attends the 4th congress of Nahda movement student branches at Tunisia University in Tunis, Tunisia on 18 January 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Speaker of the Tunisian Parliament, Rached Ghannouchi, yesterday affirmed the right to peaceful protest but cautioned against damaging public or private properties.

Speaking at the plenary session for the vote of confidence in the new ministers proposed by Prime Minister, Hichem Mechichi, Ghannouchi said: "While we affirm the right to demonstrate peacefully and express opinions, we caution against attacking public and private property."

"There is no doubt that young people are the victims of the educational and social system's failure, and it is our responsibility, all of us, to stand by them and reintegrate them, which is a collective effort undertaken by the state and supported by the civil society forces," he said.

Ghannouchi also called on the judiciary to adopt alternative penalties like community service rather than corporal punishment against protesters in order to achieve the desired social justice and stability.

OPINION: The harvest of the Arab Spring revolutions

For nearly two weeks, hundreds of Tunisians have been protesting over social inequality and police abuses.

The Tunisian Ministry of Interior announced earlier that as many as 632 people had been arrested on charges of "rioting".

On Monday, a protester died during clashes with police. Haykel Rachdi, 20, was killed when he was hit with a tear gas canister after joining protests in central Tunisia town of Sbeitla, his family said.

Ten years on from the Arab Spring [Mohammed Sabaaneh]

Ten years on from the Arab Spring
[Mohammed Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

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