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Tunisia police use excessive force against teacher protests

Tunisian high school teachers attend a demonstration demanding wage increases and improvements to their working conditions, in front of Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) in Tunis, Tunisia on January 9, 2019 [Yassine Gaidi / Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian high school teachers attend a demonstration demanding wage increases and improvements to their working conditions, in front of Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) in Tunis, Tunisia on January 9, 2019 [Yassine Gaidi / Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian police have used excessive force against teachers who protested on Thursday in front of the Ministry of Education, demanding authorities provide them with permanent jobs.

According to the National Coordination of Representatives, the teachers were forced to end their protest after being subjected to "all forms of violence".

Spokesperson for the National Coordination of Representatives, Malik Al-Ayyari, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: "The suffering of the contract-based teachers has been increasing as the Ministry of Education is ignoring their demands."

Referring to the violent dispersal of the protests, Al-Ayyari explained: "What happened to the teachers in front of the Ministry of Education was an unacceptable act and is considered an insult to the teaching profession."

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Al-Ayyari stated that the teachers protesting across different parts of the country were subjected to "psychological, verbal and physical violence".

He added: "Male and female teachers are being faced with crackdown whenever they organise or take part in any action."

Contract-based teachers in Tunisia have announced plans for nationwide demonstrations on 26 and 29 September.

Many have been protesting for several weeks across the country, demanding the authorities provide them with permanent jobs as their crisis started in 2008.

Al-Ayyari mentioned that several teachers have been sleeping in the streets for weeks in protest against the neglect of their cause by the authorities.

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