Rhida Bouziane was among hundreds of protesters who commemorated the 11th anniversary of Tunisia’s revolution on Friday.
A Tunisian man has died from wounds sustained by security forces against government protesters during a protest rally last week.
Rhida Bouziane, 57, was critically injured on Friday and died as a result of “excessive violence inflicted on the protester”, the Citizens Against the Coup campaign said on Facebook.
President Kais Saied at the end of July the ruling powers seized in what opponents described as “a coup against the constitution”. He denied allegations of coup d’état and promised to uphold the rights and freedoms won in Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, which sparked Arab Spring uprisings across the region.
Bouziane was one of hundreds of protesters who marched on Friday to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the Tunisian revolution. Friday’s protest was also against a government ban at all indoor or outdoor events announced Tuesday to stop a COVID-19 wave.
Samir Dilou, the former leader of the Ennahdha movement, the party with the largest number of seats in Tunisia’s suspended parliament, condemned Bouziane’s death on Wednesday.
“The deceased left his home on January 14 to take part in the commemoration of the revolution. He said goodbye to his two daughters and son. They waited five days for him, but he never returned. “Today they are saying goodbye to him before he is brought to rest,” said Dilou.
The party called it “a murder” and alleged authorities “hid from his family that he was in intensive care for five days”.
Tunisia’s independent body against torture has opened its own “suspicious death investigation”, Lofti Ezzedine, an official of the group, told AFP news agency.
A fierce police presence on Friday prevented protesters from gathering in Habib Bourguiba Avenue, the main street in the center of the capital, which is the traditional focal point of protests, including during the 2011 Tunisian uprising. Police sparked protesters with tear gas and water cannon.
Ennahdha and other parties involved in the protest accused the government of imposing the ban and resuming its night ban for political rather than health reasons as a way to prevent protests.
Friday fell on what Tunisians previously marked as the anniversary of the 2011 revolution, the day longtime ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the North African country.
However, Saied decided last year that instead of falling on the anniversary of Ben Ali’s departure into exile, it would be marked on December. commemoration of the self-immolation of a street vendor, who caused the uprising.
Civil society groups and Saied’s political opponents have warned against a return to authoritarianism. Some Tunisians, however, who are tired of the incompetent and corruption-plagued parliamentary system, have welcomed his moves.
Tunisia’s economy remains trapped by the pandemic, there has been little progress in gaining international support for the fragile public finances, and the government appointed by Saied in September has announced an unpopular budget for 2022.
The Tunisian president has begun preparations for a new constitution, which he said he would present in July for a referendum.
The vote will take place after an online public consultation. Parliamentary elections will also be expected at the end of 2022.
More than 50,000 people took part in Tunisia’s national consultation that will lead in drafting the new constitution, authorities said on Wednesday. The consultation will last until March 20. Topics include political, economic, financial, social, health, educational and cultural issues.