Tunisian Police Sprayed Protesters with water cannon

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Tunisian police (14/1) dispersed more than a thousand protesters trying to reach central Tunisia with water cannons and batons as they staged demonstrations against the president and COVID-19 restrictions on Friday.

A massive police presence prevented many protesters from gathering on Habib Bourguiba Street, the main street in downtown Tunis, a traditional demonstration center, including the 2011 revolution that brought democracy to Tunisia.

Police then tried to disperse several different groups of protesters, and according to eyewitnesses, the police kicked them and pushed them away.

The Tunisian Interior Ministry said that 1,200 people protested and Tunisian soldiers restrained them.

Opposition parties, including the moderate Islamist Ennahda, protested the dissolution of parliament, the seizure of power by the executive, and President Kais Saied’s rewriting of the constitution, which they say constitutes a coup.

“Preventing free Tunisians from protesting on the anniversary of the revolution is a disgrace and an attack on freedom and represents a major setback under the coup rulers,” said Imed Khemiri, an Ennahda member and MP who was sacked by the president. [jm/pp]

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