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World Asia 27 Dec 2018 Tunisia protests scr ...

Tunisia protests scribe’s suicide

AP
Published Dec 27, 2018, 7:09 am IST
Updated Dec 27, 2018, 7:09 am IST
Authorities said Zorgui died of his injuries on Monday soon after being taken to the hospital.
Abderrazak Zorgui
 Abderrazak Zorgui

Tunis, Tunisia: Protests erupted on Tuesday in Tunisia after the death of a journalist who set himself on fire to protest economic problems in the North African nation, prompting clashes with police and nationwide concern.

Journalist Abderrazak Zorgui posted a video online before his self-immolation in the struggling provincial city of Kasserine describing his desperation and calling for revolt. He expressed frustration at unemployment and unfulfilled pro-mises of Tunisia’s 2011 Arab Spring revolution.

 

Authorities said Zorgui died of his injuries on Monday soon after being taken to the hospital.

His actions prompted a protest on Monday night in Kasserine that degenerated into violence, with police firing tear gas to disperse protesters who blocked roads and threw stones at police. Interior ministry spokesman Sofi-ane Zaag said on Tuesday that six police officers were injured and several people arrested in the protest.

A new protest was held Tuesday night in Kasserine, with new tensions with police, and other actions were reported elsewhere.

A similar self-immolation — by a street vendor lamenting unemployment, corruption and repression — led to nationwide protests fuelled by social media that brought down Tun-isia’s long-time authoritarian president in 2011. That ushered in democracy for Tunisia and unleashed similar movements around the Arab world.

Zorgui’s funeral was being held on Tuesday in Kasserine, which has come to symbolise Tuni-sia’s economic problems and social tensions. Unemployment and poverty are high, and the area has struggled for years against extremists in the nearby mountains who are linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group.     

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