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Tunisian protests: Nearly 800 arrested so far

Tunisian protests: Nearly 800 arrested so far

Tunisian protests are going on, the local police have arrested at least 800 people from the government’s main opposition, Popular Front.

The protesters claim that the prime minister Youssef Chahed is “reproducing the methods of the oppressive Ben Ali regime”. Popular Front’s members were arrested in the cities of Mahdia and Karbariya, at least 800 its members were arrested during this week.

Another wave of the protests in North Africa is not a good sign, the days of protests prompted fears of a new political crisis in Tunis that inspired the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. On Friday night, Tunisian security forces detained another 150 demonstrators, bringing the number of persons arrested to nearly 800 since anti-austerity demonstrations broke out across the nation Monday night.

Taoufik Rajhi, the Economic Reforms Minister, and his planned “unprecedented reforms” made people angry. According to Mr Rahji, to cut the deficit to 4.9 percent from six percent this year, the government is going to reduce the public sector workforce by 20,000.

Rupert Colville, a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said his organisation is concerned about the high number of arrests:

‘Some 778 people we understand have now been arrested since Monday, and around a third of those arrested were between the ages of 15 and 20 so very young,”

he added.

The international observers say that National Guard representatives asked foreigners, in a very explicit and direct manner, for the names of the persons they had talked during the interviews about the recent protests.

Tunisian wave of the protests made the governments of different European states warn their citizens about potential rioting Friday and this weekend. This weekend Tunisia marks seven years since the ouster of longtime strongman President Zine Ben Abidine Ben Ali. The mass arrests can have the side effect as the strengthening the protests, warn the experts.