Saturday, January 8, 2011

US finally reacts to protests in Tunisia

The USA has finally reacted to the three weeks of ongoing unrest in Tunisia. Yesterday the State Department called in the Tunisian ambassador to express its concern. An American spokesman said according to AFP:
'We’re certainly watching what’s happening both in Tunisia and Algeria with a great deal of interest. We did call in the Tunisian ambassador yesterday and expressed our concern about both what is happening with regard to the demonstrations and encouraged the Tunisian Government to ensure that civil liberties are protected, including the freedom to peacefully assemble.'
'We also raised the issue of Tunisian – what looks like Tunisian Government interference with the internet, most notably Facebook accounts. Frankly speaking, we’re quite concerned about this and we’re looking at the best and most effective way to respond and to get the result we want.'

Also Amnesty International raised its voice. It condemned the ongoing crackdown of the Tunisian authorities. "Tunisians must be allowed to express their grievances and freely protest. The authorities made empty promises of work opportunities which were followed by a crackdown on protestors," Amnesty said.
'In recent days lawyers have been singled out for beating and arrest, following an attempted nationwide sit-in by them on 31 December in solidarity with the Sidi Bouzid protests.In response, thousands of Tunisian lawyers carried out a strike on Thursday in protest against their treatment.'
'Waves of arrests have taken place throughout the country as freedoms of expression and assembly are curtailed and undermined. Exact figures of people still detained have not been released by the authorities who have a track record of holding people incommunicado,' according to Amnesty.

Nawaat reported a nightly demonstration in Kasserine. Also it reproduced this video of a demonstration in Montréal in front of the Tunisian consulate

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