Thirty-one organisations and associations on Friday evening condemned the suppression of a peaceful protest by security forces stationed at the intersections linking Zarzis and Djerba. The people of Zarzis decided to organise the protest to demand the disclosure of the truth about the maritime tragedy of 21 September, while security forces used batons to subdue the protest.
The organisations have confirmed: "Neither adults nor children were spared from beating with batons, and the security forces also used expired tear gas bombs to target women, minors and the campus of a primary school."
"Dozens of young people and leaders of the protest movement have been arrested and exchanged for the return of the people to Zarzis, while the security forces continued to chase protesters within the city of Zarzis, which is witnessing escalating anger," the organisations stated.
In their statement, published by the Tunisian Forum for Social and Economic Rights (FTDES) on its Facebook page, the organisations and associations confirmed: "These oppressive practices come days after the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on human rights and the government's affirmation of respecting it and respecting the right to expression and peaceful protest, and these practices also precede the official works of the Francophone Summit."
The organisations expressed their: "Indignation at the security crackdown on a peaceful protest whose goal was nothing but to convey the voices of bereaved families."
The organisations held the President of the Republic Kais Saied: "Politically responsible for the weak administration of the state along with its agencies, and the absence of solutions and alternatives when facing economic, social and environmental problems."
The organisations and associations renewed their solidarity with the families and the people of Zarzis for revealing the truth about the victims of the 21 September tragedy, denouncing: "In the strongest terms, the policies of denial of the crisis, ignorance and the 'meanness' practised by the state since the crisis happened in Zarzis, which prompted the people to escalate to reveal the truth."