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Tunisia: Ban of demonstrations extended for two weeks to reduce spread of COVID-19

People gather for sit-in protest in Tunis, Tunisia on 17 December 2021. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
People gather for sit-in protest in Tunis, Tunisia on 17 December 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

On Wednesday, the Tunisian government announced its decision to extend the ban of all demonstrations for two more weeks, starting from tonight, as a precautionary measure against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This came in a statement issued by the Presidency of the Government, which Anadolu Agency viewed.

"It has been decided to extend the preventive measures announced since 12 January, for another two weeks". The statement said.

It explained that the extension decision "comes according to the meeting of the Ministerial Council, which was held on Tuesday, in order to deal with the evolution of the epidemiological situation in the country, under the guidance of the scientific committee's recommendations".

On 12 January, the government adopted precautionary measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, included "a night curfew, starting from ten o'clock evening (21:00 GMT local) until five o'clock in morning (04:00 GMT), in addition to cancelling or postponing all events in open and closed spaces".

The government also decided "to strengthen health control measures at border crossings by conducting investigative tests for all arrivals".

The announcement of these measures came two days before demonstrations coincided with the commemoration of the 11th anniversary of the revolution on 14 January, which was considered by politicians and activists as a violation of the right to demonstrate.

READ: 21 Tunisian bodies denounce police suppression of protesters

These demonstrations, during which the opposition accused security forces of using violence, resulted in the death of one protester.

The Ministry of Interior said, at that time, that it had committed to the utmost extent of restraint and dispersed the protesters by using water, "for breaching" a government decision to ban demonstrations to reduce the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to figures published by the Tunisian Ministry of Health, on Wednesday, the country recorded 9706 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number to 866,455.

17 deaths were recorded, bringing the total deaths to 26,151, while 6,206,900 people completed their vaccination against the pandemic.

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