Tunisia: Opposition defies ban on protest, vows weekly demonstrations

Tunisia: Opposition defies ban on protest, vows weekly demonstrations

The head of the Tunisian National Salvation Front (NSFT) has vowed weekly protests in Tunis capital until detained opposition figures are released, in an utter defiance of authorities who banned the Sunday demonstration.

Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, the current leader of the opposition made the announcement during the large-scale protest by the NSFT on Sunday.

Chebbi said that the group will hold weekly sit-ins every Wednesday at midday, in solidarity with the detained activists.

The protest was attended by hundreds of supporters in central Tunis, despite state ban. The demonstration denounced state prosecution of critics of President Kais Saied.

Several people including lawyers, journalists and politicians mostly members of Ennahda such as Said Ferjani, as well as a number of left-leaning political figures, including Jawhar Ben Mbarek took part in the demonstration.

“We call for the release of all detainees,” Chebbi said. “They accuse your brothers of conspiring against state security, and they are not conspirators, but rather peaceful opponents”.

Demonstrators also called for freedom of speech and expression. Some other protestors called for Saied’s resignation, shouting “Leave, leave” and “Down with the coup”.

The protesters also condemned Saied’s statements against sub-Saharan migrants, which were deemed racist and inflammatory. President Kais Saied sparked an outcry after he made extremely hateful and racist remarks against African migrants who arrive in his country on their way to Europe.

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