Protests spread to more Tunisia areas over police brutality

Tunisia protests against police brutality spread to capital's suburbs
2 min read
15 June, 2021
Protests and clashes with security forces have been ongoing for weeks in Tunisia but the death of a young man has sparked further unrest.
Protests against police brutality have been ongoing for days in Sidi Hassine, Tunisia. [AFP/Getty Images]

Protests spread to more areas around the Tunisian capital overnight Monday, as angry citizens denounced police brutality against a young man which led to his death.

Reports say protests took place in two neighbourhoods in the Manouba district, west of Tunis, after being concentrated in the Sidi Hassine area of the capital over the past few days.

Witnesses explained that "hit and run operations took place between dozens of young men and the security forces in the two neighborhoods, during which these forces used tear gas to disperse the protesters", according to Arabi21.

Sidi Hassine witnessed clashes between demonstrators and security forces Saturday following the death of a man, named Ahmed, arrested by authorities.

The working-class district has been rocked by angry protests since last week when Ahmed died.

He had been arrested by police on suspicion of dealing drugs, according to local media.

The family of the young man accuses security forces of beating him to death during his detention a week ago.

The interior ministry has not yet explained his cause of death but said police officers had been arrested for assaulting and stripping another young man, after Ahmed's funeral procession.

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied visited Sidi Hassine Friday and met with residents. He condemned Ahmed's death and said he was following up on events.

Ten years since a revolution that overthrew the police state of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia's security forces have yet to see meaningful reform.

Officers very rarely face prosecution for alleged abuses.

A series of protests have been ongoing since January across many Tunisian cities, over an economic crisis made worse by the coronavirus, unemployment, corruption, as well as police brutality.