Is Tunisia on the Brink of a New Revolution?

Published January 20th, 2022 - 08:49 GMT
Tunisian demonstrator
A Tunisian demonstrator holds a scarf in his country's national colours as people are hit by water from a police water cannon during demonstrations against President Kais Saied. (FETHI BELAID/AFP)

On the 11th anniversary of Tunisia's "Jasmine Revolution," Tunisians seem to be just as angry and uncertain about the future.

Celebrating the first Arab Spring revolution for the 11th year, Tunisians flocked to the streets of the capital city of Tunis but were met by violent police officers who tried to stop the demonstration last Friday.

Coming six months after Tunisian President Kais Saied announced a series of major political changes, including the dissolving of the government and parliament in addition to an emergency status that has been extended until the end of February 2022, this year's demonstration resulted in one death.

FETHI BELAID/ AFP: A Tunisian demonstrator confronts members of the police during protests against President Kais Saied, on the 11th anniversary of the Tunisian revolution in the capital Tunis on January 14, 2022.

According to local sources, 57-year-old Ridha Bouzayene was pronounced dead after he participated in a demonstration against Tunisian President Kais Saied on the 14th of January. Bouzayene was reportedly attacked by police officers who targeted several people in the streets, before spraying protestors with tear gas.

AFP reported that the "Tunisian police used teargas today against hundreds of demonstrators who had defied a ban on gatherings to protest against President Kais Saied's July power grab."

Tuniscope reported that while an investigation has been opened into the reasons of Bouzayene's death, the prosecution at a court affirmed that "the body of the deceased bore no visible trace of violence."

Yet, online people mourning Ridha Bouzayene remembered Mohamed Bouazizi, the street vendor whose death in 2010 triggered the first of the Arab Spring revolutions.

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