Thursday, January 13, 2011

More protests in Tunisia, also in capital in spite of newly imposed curfew, death toll now at 66

 The Ettadhamen quarter of Tunis on Wednesday afternoon.

Tunisia's capital Tunis was under curfew early Thursday, but in spite of that there were clashes in the centre and several other parts of the city. Also new clashes erupted in several parts of the country. According to the president of the Internationale Federation of Human Rights (IFHR) the Tunisian Souhayr Belhassen, in this last round of protest eight people were killed. The IFHR already had a list of 58 people killed since the beginning of the unrest, about almost a month ago. With the eight people kille yesterday the total now amounts to 66 dead, according to the IFHR. 
Among the dead of yesterday were two people in the city of Douz. One of them was the French-Tunisian professor Hatem Bettahar (38, see picture), a lecturer in informatics at the technical university of Compiègne (France)  as well as in the Tunisian city of Gabès. Bettahar was visiting his mother in Douz. In Thala one person was killed. In Sfax five people were wounded.  
In the capital Tunis armored vehicles and trucks entered the city and soldiers took positions at mayor intersections after the government announced a curfew as from Wednesday evening in the whole of the province Grand Tunis (consisting of Tunis, Ariana, Ben Arous and La Manouba).Soldiers guarded the entrance to the Ettadhamen working class suburb where rioters burned vehicles and attacked government offices late Tuesday. But in spite of that new protests were reported here. At least one man, 25-year old Mejdi Nasri, died here after haveing been shot in the had. Clashes erupted also in the quarters of  Rades, Intilaka and El Mnihla. Also in the center security forces fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators, an AFP reporter said.
The authorities on Wednesday arrested Hamma Mammami (picture), leader of the communist Tundsian Workers Party (POCT), alledgedly after he had criticized the government.    
 The United Nations, the US and the European Union have all expressed concern over the government's response to the unrest in Tunisia.
The UN human rights chief, Navi Pillay, said the protests had been peaceful and that the security forces "reacted with excessive force in breach of international standards".
She urged the government to launch a "transparent, credible and independent investigation into the violence and killings" and punish those found responsible.

El Aliya (center of the country) during the night. 

12 January: police in Jbeniana surrender to protesters.

Bizerte yesterday. The Monoprix owned by the family Trabelsi (relatives of Ben Ali's wife Leila Trabelsi) is burning.

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