Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

The powerful General Trade Union announces a day of mourning over the deaths of protesters and calls for an investigation into the incident.

Tunisia’s powerful General Trade Union (UGTT) called for a general strike on Wednesday in Aguereb, in the central region of Sfax, a day after a protester died from inhaling tear gas fired by police to protest against the to disperse reopening of a landfill.

UGTT, which has about one million members and is a major force in Tunisian politics, called for a judicial inquiry into what it described as “intentional murder of a young man” during the protests.

The union declared a day of mourning for Abderrazek Lacheheb, 35, on Wednesday, demanding that the perpetrators be held accountable for his murder, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old died in the town of Aguereb after weeks of furious protests over a growing waste crisis and violent confrontations over security forces reopening a landfill.

The Interior Ministry denied that Lacheheb was suffocated by tear gas and said he was admitted to hospital for a health condition unrelated to the protests.

The union also called for the lifting of what he described as a “siege” on Aguereb and called for the permanent closure of the landfill and full compensation of its workers.

Escalating crisis

Public pressure forced the closure of the landfill in September.

City councils in the region have since refused to collect rubbish, complaining that the state has not found workable alternatives.

This caused thousands of tons of household waste to accumulate for about a month in the streets, markets and even hospitals of Sfax, the second largest Tunisian city, which sparked widespread anger.

Thousands protested last week, saying authorities were deliberately killing them and violating their rights.

Late Monday, the Ministry of Environment reopened the closed landfill, despite a court ruling banning it.

Witnesses said as workers began collecting garbage and transporting it to Aguereb, hundreds of young people gathered and rejected the decision, prompting police to fire tear gas to disperse them.

On Tuesday, Tunisian protesters set fire to a police station, witnesses said.

The incident is the first serious test facing the government of Prime Minister Najla Boden, appointed by President Kais Saied last month, on how to respond to protests over poor public services and fragile social and environmental conditions.

Saied has come under increasing criticism since assuming executive power in July, setting aside most of the constitution to seize near-total power in what critics have described as a coup.

Saied unveiled a new government in October and promised a national dialogue, but has not yet set out a detailed plan to restore normal constitutional order.

Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *