Clashes erupt in Tunisia after protester dies from injuries | News of the protests
Angry residents fired projectiles at police and blocked roads in the town of Sbeitla after the protester’s death.
A Tunisian protester injured in clashes with police died in hospital, state media reported, prompting more violent clashes between protesters and security services in the town of Sbeitla about three hours south of the country. capital Tunis.
Haykel Rachdi’s family told local media he was hit by a tear gas canister after joining the protests that erupted this month on the anniversary of the 2011 Tunisian revolution which introduced the democracy in the North African nation.
The prosecutor’s office in Kasserine, the largest town near Sbeitla, has ordered an autopsy to determine Rachdi’s cause of death, state news agency TAP reported on Monday.
After news of his death, a group of young men attempted to storm and burn down the Sbeitla police station, sparking further clashes, TAP reported.
The incident raised the heat ahead of protests against inequality and police abuse scheduled for Tuesday in Tunis and other cities and supported by rights groups.
Tunisia has seen a recent wave of nightly clashes, with security forces carrying out mass arrests, as protesters angered at successive governments’ failure to deliver on the promise of the 2011 revolution amid a backdrop of economic collapse exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown measures.
The government extended the nighttime curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturday and banned gatherings until February 14.
Denounce police repression
Activists responded with daytime protests against police repression, corruption and poverty, 10 years after the revolution that toppled longtime leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Sbeitla, in the central Kasserine region, had already seen clashes last week after rumors that Rachdi had died. At that time, the Home Office denied his death and announced an investigation into the circumstances of his injuries.
Mothers in the Tunisian capital have accused authorities of arbitrarily arresting their children in response to the unrest, with human rights groups claiming at least 1,000 people have been arrested.
Twenty-eight civil society groups denouncing police repression called for a rally outside parliament on Tuesday.
It comes as Parliament is set to vote on the new ministers appointed in a sweeping cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi.
President Kais Saied on Monday criticized the absence of women in the new formation and stressed that the reshuffle had not been considered by the council of ministers, as required by the constitution.
Without naming names, Saied also said that one of the proposed ministers was “involved in a corruption case” and three others had conflicts of interest.