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ANHRI condemns use of violence against peaceful protesters

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 16 August 2011 - ANHRI condemns the actions of the Tunisian police in once again deploying violence, tear gas canisters, and batons against the peaceful protesters who took to the streets of the capital Tunis on Monday 15 August. The demonstration was held to demand a purge of the judiciary, the prosecution of those responsible for the corruption and the dismissal of the interim government, headed by Al-Baji Qa'ed Al-Sebsi.

The demonstrations broke out before the Ministry of the Interior, after protesters objected to the release of al-Bashir Al-Takary, former Minister of Justice, and the fact that Mrs. Al-Aqrabi, an ally of Ben Ali and his wife, was able to flee to Paris even though she is still under judiciary prosecution.

Police forces fired tear gas canisters at the crowd and kicked and beat some of the protesters with batons. At the same time, a number of soldiers stationed themselves around the Ministry of the Interior to protect it.

In July, the Tunisian authorities imposed a curfew in the city of Sidi Bouzid, following confrontations between police forces and protesters calling for the ouster of the interim government.

"The return of the use of violence against peaceful protesters is regretfully reminiscent of the pre-revolution situation . . . Tunisia has sparked all the revolutions and liberation movements against dictatorships in the whole of the Arab region," said ANHRI. "During this critical transitional phase that Tunisia is undergoing, the authorities should consolidate the rights that were stolen in the time of the old regime, and not undertake the same practices on the grounds of maintaining stability and security, or based on any other arguments that the ousted president, Ben Ali, was known to use as a justification," ANHRI added.

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