Tunisia says over 900 arrested in anti-austerity protests
Tunisian security forces detain a protester in Ettadhamen on the outskirts of the capital Tunis late on January 10, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
Islam Times - Tunisian authorities have announced the apprehension of more than 900 people following demonstrations against austerity measures imposed by the government.
Tunisia’s Interior Ministry spokesman Khlifa Chibani said on Monday that "a total of 937 people are in custody" after acts of violence, theft or vandalism.
Chibani added that 41 people aged between 13 and 19 had been detained a day earlier, as the North African country marked the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that gave birth to the Arab Spring that touched off a chain of uprisings across many Arab nations.
The authorities said that 105 members of the Tunisian security forces had sustained injuries and one protester lost his life in a week of clashes fueled by unemployment, corruption and austerity measures in the 2018 budget.
The Tunisian government proposed a range of socioeconomic reforms to parliament on Sunday, but people across the country continue to hold rallies.
Tunisia has been the scene of protests against hikes in value-added tax and social contributions introduced at the beginning of the year to reduce the country’s annual deficit and satisfy international lenders.
In recent years, demonstrations have been held in the month of January, which marks the anniversary of the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
The 2011 uprising and two major militant attacks in Tunisia in 2015 harmed foreign investment and tourism, which accounts for eight percent of the country’s economic activity.
The North African country has been hailed for its relatively smooth democratic transition since the revolution, but it is still experiencing economic and political turbulence.
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