Several protesters have been arrested during the fourth day of riots in Tunisia

Several detainees in the protests that have spread for the fourth consecutive day in different cities of Tunisia. They have blocked streets and burning barricades. The protesters confronted the police who responded using tear gas. Firefighters have had to intervene in some areas. In addition to slogans against the Government due to the economic crisis in the country, protesters demand that the promises of freedom, social justice and rights made during the 2011 revolution be fulfilled that ended the Ben Ali dictatorship.

Among those arrested are human rights activists known in Tunisia as Hamza Nassri Jeridi.

In this atmosphere of tension, the spokesman for the National Union of Security Forces, Jamel Jarboui, has assured that more than half of the approximately 650 people detained -the majority minors- in recent days in riots and clashes with the Police “they were being sought by the forces of order.

President Kaïs Said during his visit to Ariana, a city near the capital where there have also been protests, he has asked people not to let others take advantage of his anger and poverty.

The Defense Ministry deployed the Army in some regions to protect private and public assets. The protests broke out days after Tunisia commemorated the 10th anniversary of Ben Ali’s flight into exile.

The riots broke out on Thursday night, the 10th anniversary of the dictator’s flight, hours after a General confinement of four days and a curfew extended by the Government at 4:00 p.m. with the declared objective of stopping the Covid-19 pandemic, which has grown exponentially throughout the country since it reopened its borders on June 27.

Skander Brahami is one of the Tunisians who is unemployed: “There is coronavirus, people are dying and we have to confine ourselves from 4:00 p.m. on. The people are the ones who suffer. We don’t care about the coronavirus: we want work and food.”

Local and international health experts have criticized the measure, considering that it would have little influence on infections and suggesting that the Government was seeking other objectives related to security and social unrest that has been shaking the country for months.

International reviews

In this context, the human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) has criticized the actions of the Tunisian Police and urged them to _ “immediately refrain from using unnecessary and excessive force.”

“Even when vandalism and looting occur, law enforcement officials should only use force when absolutely necessary and proportionate. Nothing gives the security forces permission to use unnecessary and excessive force, even when responding to sporadic acts of violence”Said Amna Guellali, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“The Tunisian authorities must ensure that they immediately release Hamza Nassri Jeridi and anyone who has been detained solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”, has added.