Police Arrest Main Homosexual Activist In Crackdown On Tunisia Rally

Police Arrest Main Homosexual Activist In Crackdown On Tunisia Rally


Tunis, Tunisia – Police have arrested a number one homosexual rights campaigner in a violent pushback towards younger folks throughout a rally towards the upcoming referendum on the Tunisian president’s newly proposed structure.

Police violently shoved protesters marching on Friday in a vocal however peaceable demonstration as they headed in direction of the Ministry of Interior within the centre of Tunis to display towards President Kais Saied’s newly-penned structure and demand an finish to the referendum course of.

Al Jazeera witnessed beatings and different violent abuses of protesters, and in addition noticed police use pepper spray.

President Saied printed his new draft structure on the finish of final month, forward of a referendum scheduled for July 25 the place Tunisians will vote to just accept or reject the doc.

July 25 marks a 12 months since Saied sacked Tunisia’s prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed government authority, citing a nationwide emergency in a move critics have known as a coup.

Two months later he introduced he would rule by decree, and dismantled most of the nation’s democratic state establishments together with the Superior Judicial Council. In June, he fired dozens of judges accusing them of corruption and “terrorism”, additional consolidating his energy.

Scuffles Between Protesters And Police In Tunis
The police scuffled with protesters who accuse President Kais Saied of an influence seize and fear the brand new structure will result in dictatorship [Fethi Belaid/AFP]

Saied says he has applied a interval of remarkable measures to avoid wasting the nation from an imminent hazard however his critics say his actions have solely exacerbated the political and financial crises dealing with Tunisians who’re struggling amid excessive inflation and unemployment, and declining public companies.

‘I am so angry’

On Friday, police launched numerous aggressive costs towards what was a comparatively small though vocal group of protesters.

As they charged towards protesters they attacked chief of the left wing Front Popular Hama Hemami, a feminine journalist was slapped whereas making an attempt to {photograph} police arresting a protester and Al Jazeera noticed many individuals struggling the painful results of gasoline and pepper spray.

Police dragged protesters to the bottom as they arrested them, and held them in stress holds as they marched a few of them away.

Among these arrested was a number one LGBTQI+ activist Saif Ayadi. Avocats sans Frontiers informed Al Jazeera he’s at present being held at Gorjani detention centre however ASF say they’re involved for his security as he has beforehand been arrested and crushed by police.

Riot police pushed again the group with their shields earlier than fellow officers charged forcefully towards the group chasing protesters down facet streets.

Khalil Ayari, a 23 12 months previous nursing scholar, informed Al Jazeera: “I saw 10 people arrested, and (they) were just protesting peacefully. I saw them attack a girl, they were pulling her arm so hard I could see the bruises rising.”

Ayari stated he took to the streets as a result of he was livid on the president’s actions.

“I’m so angry,” he stated. “I read the constitution, it’s only about the president, it’s all for him, he’s going to make all the decisions and take everything.”

He added: “After today I not longer feel safe in Tunisia.”

Under the new structure, Saied would have the ability to proceed to rule by decree till a brand new parliament is fashioned after an election set for December. He would even have final authority over the federal government and judiciary, with the federal government answering to the president and to not parliament.

Protesters And Police Jostle At Barriers Erected In Tunis With An Officer Spraying Tear Gas Into Their Faces
A Tunisian policeman sprays tear gasoline at a protester making an attempt to take away metallic boundaries throughout Friday’s protest towards the proposed new structure [Fethi Belaid/AFP]

The face of Ayla Salemi, who works in civil society, was vivid pink after being caught within the pepper spray.

“The police were shouting and insisting that we go home, then they charged at us,” she informed Al Jazeera. “They battered the female activist Waen Nawal with a stick and they used pepper spray on me and others.”

The 35-year-old tried to catch her breath. “I was against what happened last year in the parliament, but I am also against this president, things are much worse now than they were before.”

For many younger folks, Saied’s actions are a betrayal.

“We are against Saied’s constitution because this will bring us to dictatorship, we cannot tolerate this; we are here to say no!” 23-year-old regulation scholar Malak Ben Amane informed Al Jazeera.

Half manner by means of the interview a policeman got here to berate Ben Amane, however she stood coolly and refused to move. As the officer moved away she stated: “This violence is not unusual it happens every day, this is a police state.”

Until Friday, protests towards the president had largely concerned middle-aged folks, however the younger at the moment are popping out towards him too.

“Yes, we are depressed, but we are here to defend our revolution and our democracy, so I will march again tomorrow,” Ben Amane stated.

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