A Tunisian man in his twenties set himself on fire in the neighbourhood of Tabraqa, northwest of the country, after police confiscated a herd of sheep belonging to his father, local news agency reported yesterday.
According to the news agency, the police asked the father to prove that he had purchased the sheep, which were on their way to a butcher in the city of Fernana in the governorate of Jandouba near the border with Algeria. The police also asked him to show a license for rearing and trading in sheep.
The news agency reported that the police believed that the herd, which consisted of 39 sheep, was smuggled from Algeria, claiming that the owner had a record of such behaviour.
The son felt his father was being unfairly targeted by police and set himself on fire.
The farmer’s lawyer said he had provided all the necessary documents to prove that he had purchased the herd, local media reported. “The youth set himself on fire because he felt that his father was oppressed,” the lawyer said.
The young man was rushed to hospital and was in a critical condition.
The self-immolation of street vendor Mohammad Bouzizi in 2011 after police confiscated his cart ignited the Arab Spring protests in the Middle East which unseated numerous dictators in the region.