More than 3,000 people prover against Tunisian government on Saturday at a rally organized by powerful UGTT Lab union in What appeared to be the largest protest yet against President Qais Said organizes a show of force after his last campaign on opponents.
several thousand of Protesters filled Habib Bourguiba Avenue main street in Central Tunis Holding banners which read “No one-a man of rule, chanting “Freedom! End the police state.”
They were walking after weeks of Prominent targeted arrests opponents of He said, who staged it first Great repression since his seizure of wide-ranging powers in 2021, closing down parliament And moving to rule by decree.
“We will continue to defend freedoms and rights, whatever they may be cost. “We don’t fear prisons or arrests,” said Noureddine Taboubi, leader of the UGTT.
I salute the jurists and politicians in morgue prison,” he addedreferring to the new detainees.
Hamma Hammami, head of The Labor Party said the protests were the response to what it called Said’s “creeping dictatorship”.
“He wants to spread fear, but we are not afraid,” he said.
The crackdown is the largest since Said’s arrest of powers and him opponents He says it’s increasing clear It dismantled democracy won in 2011 revolution it triggered The Arab Spring will end the freedoms it brought.
Saied denied that his actions were putschist, saying they were legal and necessary to save Tunisia from chaos.
The UGTT was initially slow to criticize Said, while political parties accused him of by performing a coup d’état, but while the president strengthened his fist while ignoring union and others playersbegan publicly challenge for him.
a senior union official He was arrested last Month for Organizing a strike by highway toll booth operators, which prompted the UGTT newspaper to accuse Said of Declaration of war on organization and its millions of members.
This week, the authorities banned foreign workers union Leaders from entering Tunisia to participate in the gathering in symbiosis with The UGTT and Said said they would not accept foreigners joining protests.
the size of Gathering on Saturday confirmed that union remains a powerful Discount may be happy struggle to bat aside as is moves to marginalize others opponents in getting up of Parliamentary elections were very low support.
with Tunisia economy in State financial crisis on the edge of bankruptcy and deficiency of key potential commodities for public Anger may grow.
In recent weeks, the police have arrested more More than a dozen prominent opposition figures, most of them associated with coalition of Parties and demonstrators are planning to gather on Sunday accused them of conspiracy against State Security.
Among those arrested are politicians conservative The renaissance was the largest party in css parliamentleaders of demonstrator groupthe head of Tunisia main independent media A prominent outlet and businessman.
Najeh Zaidi, a teacher at the protest, said “Said threatens everyone here. Parties, civil society, trade unions. All freedoms… Tunisians are here to say we don’t accept nascent populism and dictatorship.”