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Tunisia Interior Ministry: Security forces disperse protesters for violating demonstrations ban

Tunisia has witnessed an ongoing political crisis since 25 July 2020

The Tunisian Ministry of Interior revealed that it used water to disperse protesters trying to reach Avenue Habib Bourguiba in the capital's centre for "violating" a government decision banning the demonstration.

This came according to a statement issued by the ministry, of which Anadolu Agency received a copy.

The ministry stated: "About 1,200 people demonstrated in the side streets surrounding Avenue Habib Bourguiba in the capital, with the pretext of celebrating 14 January."

It added that they: "Deliberately violated the ministerial decision to prevent all demonstrations in open and closed spaces to prevent the acceleration of the spread of COVID-19, so water was used to disperse them."

The ministry accused the protesters of: "Deliberately trying to raid security barriers and attacking security forces stationed to maintain order."

It stressed that:

The security units have exercised the utmost restraint", calling on "all citizens to respect the decisions taken to this effect and not to be drawn into illegal calls for gatherings.

The protests came in response to calls from the Citizens Against the Coup initiative, the Ennahda Movement, the Democratic Current, the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties, the Republican Party and the Workers' Party in rejection of President Kais Saied's measures and in parallel with the anniversary of the Tunisian Revolution (14 January, 2011).

According to Anadolu Agency's correspondent, Avenue Habib Bourguiba in Tunis witnessed intense security reinforcements since Friday morning.

On Wednesday, the Tunisian government decided to impose a night curfew and cancel or postpone all events in open and closed spaces. The curfew will start on Thursday for two weeks and could be renewed as part of a series of measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The Tunisian president earlier announced changing the date of the official celebration of the revolution, which toppled the regime of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali (1987-2011), to be on 17 December instead of 14 January.

Tunisia has witnessed an ongoing political crisis since 25 July 2020, after imposing exceptional measures, including freezing the powers of Parliament, issuing laws by presidential decree, dismissing the prime minister and appointing a new government.

The majority of political and civil forces in Tunisia, including the Ennahda Movement, reject these measures and consider them a "coup against the constitution", while other forces support them as a "correction of the course of the 2011 revolution" that toppled the powers of President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

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