Violent confrontations between police and protesters on the streets of Tunis sparked a number of protests in several cities yesterday evening.
The demonstrations were called by civil society organizations to condemn the police tactics during a march for Martyrs’ Day in Tunis yesterday. Police used teargas and truncheons on protesters, journalists and bystanders to break up a protest that the Ministry of the Interior had not authorized. At least 12 people suffered injuries during the confrontations.
In Monastir, a city of 40,000, around 300 people marched from the University of Monastir Faculty of Medicine to the office of the Governate. Protesters chanted “no more fear” and other slogans that harked back to demonstrations in January 2011 that led to the ousting of former President Zine Abedine Ben Ali.
Although the march was mainly peaceful, Monia Trimesh, a correspondent for Tunisian News Agency TAP, told Tunisia Live that two regional offices of Ennahda, the largest political party in the National Constituent Assembly, were damaged by fire. An Ennahda member of the NCA, Noureddine Bhiri, is Minister of the Interior, the department responsible for law and order.
In Sfax, Tunisia’s second largest city, around 200 people gathered in front of the town hall and marched around the Kasbah (the old walled city) carrying candles. The demonstration was peaceful and no police were present according to TAP correspondent Hedia Bousarsar.
In Sousse, 140km South of Tunis, several hundred people gathered in front of the Municipal Theater. A journalist from radio station Jawhara FM station reported that protesters called for the resignation of the government and for the memory of Tunisia’s martyrs to be preserved.