Tunisia faces Crisis: Opposition plans Protests to unseat Islamist Gov’t

AIM Newswire  —   September 6, 2013

WASHINGTON — Tunisia’s opposition threatens more widespread protests against the current Islamist government, led by the Ennahda party.

Reuters reported that the secular opposition are upset how slow the negotiations were going and say that the political stalemate will eventually end the Islamist government’s short rule.

The opposition, led by secular parties, are leading in the polls. The main issue is that there are about 12 different parties. But, the ruling Islamist Ennahda party is highly unpopular among Tunisians. This means that this will mark a second Arabic country who will push out an Islamist government, as Egypt did recently to Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party.

The current Tunisian political stalemate is a result of two assassinations of top opposition lawmakers, where Tunisians immediately blamed the Ennahda party of coordinating. Ennahda denied any involvement and blamed al-Qaeda operatives operating in the desert and mountain regions of the country. But, it seems that the Tunisian public is not buying the Ennahda narrative.

Accuracy In Media  http://www.aim.org/newswire/tunisia-faces-crisis-opposition-plans-protests-to-unseat-islamist-govt/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AccuracyInMedia+%28Accuracy+In+Media%29

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Tunisia opposition calls for rally to mark MP’s murder

TUNIS (AFP) – The People’s Movement of slain Tunisian MP Mohamed Brahmi on Monday called for a weekend rally to mark 40 days since the opposition leader’s murder plunged the country into crisis.

Modern Ghana http://www.modernghana.com/news/340623/1/tunisia-opposition-calls-for-rally-to-mark-mps-mur.html

Tunisia presses hunt for jihadists

August 3 2013

Tunis –

Tunisia’s army pressed ahead on Saturday with operations against Islamists in a remote mountain range after a deadly ambush on its troops heightened a crisis sparked by a political assassination.

The authorities kept a tight lid on the overland and helicopter raids launched on Friday in the Mount Chaambi area near the border with Algeria where Islamist militants including veterans of a revolt in northern Mali are suspected to be hiding out.

Eight Tunisian soldiers were found in the area on Monday with their throats cut after being ambushed by militants.

The interior ministry, meanwhile, said a “religious extremist” was killed and another wounded in two separate incidents while handling explosives.

And police said a suspect package was found in Tunis warning security forces to withdraw from Mount Chaambi.

The coalition government led by moderate Islamic movement Ennahda has acknowledged that the country faces a growing threat of terrorism, although it has yet to issue a call for the public to remain vigilant.

On the political front, a compromise still eluded opponents and supporters of the government in their efforts to defuse a crisis triggered by the July 25 assassination of opposition figure Mohamed Brahmi that has been blamed on jihadists.

Opposition parties have called on the government to step down but failed to draw up a united stand on policy.

Ennahda insists on its legitimacy to govern based on the last elections in October 2011.

Both sides in the political stand-off staged daily demonstrations over the past week, with Ennahda sending out calls for a mass solidarity rally in the capital’s Kasbah Square from 9pm (20.00 GMT) on Saturday.

The government’s critics say it has failed to rein in radical Islamists, who have grown in influence and stand accused of a wave of attacks since the 2011 uprising which toppled long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Since Brahmi’s death – the second political slaying after leftist leader Chokri Belaid was gunned down in February – around 60 politicians have pulled out of the National Constituent Assembly that is drawing up Tunisia’s long-delayed new constitution.

Tunisian authorities have pointed to links between the Chaambi militants, the assassins of Brahmi and Belaid and Tunisia’s main Salafist organisation Ansar al-Sharia, which denies the accusation. – Sapa-AFP

ioL http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/tunisia-presses-hunt-for-jihadists-1.1557120

Justice Needed in Tunisia after Second Political Murder This Year

PRESS RELEASE
 

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Tunisian authorities must deliver justice to stem a worrying tide of political violence, Amnesty International said after Mohamed Brahmi was shot dead outside his home in Tunis today. Brahmi was the leader of the Tunisian leftist opposition party the Popular Current (Courant Populaire, El Tayyar El Chaabi), a member of the National Constituent Assembly, and a critical voice against the current ruling party Ennahda.

His murder, which occurred on the anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Tunisia, comes just months after another opposition leader, Chokri Belaid, was shot dead in February – sending shockwaves through Tunisian society and prompting the resignation of the then-Prime Minister.

“The targeting of a member of the National Constituent Assembly is a blow to the rule of law in Tunisia,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa deputy director at Amnesty International. “A truly independent and impartial investigation into the killing must be immediately opened. Delivering justice for these two killings and other violent attacks against individuals must be an urgent priority in Tunisia.”

So far, little has been done by authorities to ensure that attacks against members of the opposition are thoroughly investigated and those responsible are brought to justice – fueling a climate of impunity and increasing political polarization. There is an ongoing judicial investigation into Belaid’s murder, with some suspects in custody, but no one has yet been tried for the crime.

“The Tunisian authorities have a duty to protect all individuals, including those who criticize the government or Tunisia’s leading Ennahda party, from violence, and to act against individuals and groups who commit acts of violence, regardless of their affiliation,” said Hadj Sahraoui. “As Tunisians take to the streets to protest Mohamed Brahmi’s killing, we urge the security forces to refrain from unnecessary or excessive use of force and to ensure that people can express their views peacefully and freely.”

The Tunisian authorities have failed to respond to Amnesty International’s request for clarification about the steps taken to dismantle groups linked to attacks against politicians or dissenting voices.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists, and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth, and dignity are denied.

 
contact: Amnesty International http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/justice-needed-in-tunisia-after-second-political-murder-this-year

Assassination of Leftist Leader Sparks Mass Protests in Tunisia

Latest murder follows February assassination of leftist opposition figure Chokri Belaid

staff writer Sarah Lazare

Thousands protested in Tunisia’s streets Thursday after leftist opposition party leader Mohammed Brahmi was assassinated at his home earlier in the day.

A head figure in the secularist Popular Front and a visible critic of the ruling Ennahda party, Brahmi’s assassination comes just months after Popular Front leader Chokri Belaid was gunned down earlier this year.

Brahmi was reportedly killed in front of his wife and daughter, and the gunmen fled on motorbikes.

“This criminal gang has killed the free voice of Brahmi,” his widow Mbarka Brahmi told Reuters Thursday, although she did not say who she thinks killed him.

Thousands gathered in cities throughout Tunisia to protest the assassination, including in front of the Tunis Interior Ministry and the Ariana district hospital where Brahmi’s body was transported.

The crowds chanted slogans demanding that the ruling Ennahda party resign and calling for the downfall of Islamists—a reference to the Islamist Ennahda party— according to media reports.

Ennahda says it condemns the murder, yet many of those gathered in the streets charge that the ruling party is directly responsible for the killing.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui—deputy Middle East and North Africa program director at Amnesty International—told the LA Times that the government has at least some culpability:

Little has been done by the authorities to ensure that reported attacks against members of the opposition are adequately investigated and those responsible are brought to justice, fueling a climate of impunity and increasing political polarization.

The assassination of Chokri Belai in February prompted the largest mass protests since Tunisia’s ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings that toppled Ben Ali in 2011.

Many in Tunisia are calling for a second revolution against the Ennahda party now in power, in response to their harsh repression of political dissent, derailment of democracy, crackdown on women’s rights, and continuation of ousted Ben Ali’s neoliberal economic policies that deepen poverty and unemployment.

Tunisia’s rebel movement is calling for a dissolution of Parliament and urging Tunisians to take to the streets.

Further reading available at: https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/07/25-7

Tunisia rappers, journalist charged over trial unrest

17 June 2013 Last updated at 17:00 CET
BEN AROUS, Tunisia (AFP) – A Tunisian court on Monday charged two musicians and a journalist implicated in violence that erupted last week at the trial of a rapper who was controversially jailed for two years for insulting the police.
http://www.modernghana.com/news/469206/1/tunisia-rappers-journalist-charged-over-trial-unre.html

FEMEN facing Trial for case leniency

Little sympathy for topless protesters

Tunis – While some Tunisians believe Femen activist Amina Sboui is being harshly treated for her anti-Islamist protest, there is little public sympathy for three European women who bared their breasts in support of her.

The three women, two French and one German, face jail terms of up to a year when they go on trial in Tunis on Wednesday, although their lawyer is confident of a lighter sentence.

http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Little-sympathy-for-topless-protesters-20130604-3