Tunisians to go on hunger strike to protest president's 'coup'

Tunisians to go on hunger strike to protest president's 'coup'
2 min read
21 December, 2021
A number of Tunisians will go on hunger strike to protest the president's power grab this summer
Tunisians have protested since Saied's July power grab [Getty-file photo]

A group of Tunisians announced on Monday they will start a series of protests - including hunger strikes - over what they believe are undemocratic practices being exercised by President Kais Saied.

The 'Citizens Against the Coup' initiative said in a press statement Monday evening that a number of national figures decided to engage in a hunger strike to protest what they called the "coup" carried out by Saied.

They also want to protest the repression against pro-democracy protesters and activists by security forces during protests last weekend.

Head of the Citizens Against the Coup initiative, Jawhar Bin Mubarak, said that these attacks have been documented and will be sent to national and international human rights organisations.

Bin Mubarak also called on the Tunisian judiciary to "investigate leaks that talk about the involvement of foreign parties in Tunisian affairs".

Saied froze parliament, dismissed his government, and took on executive powers on 25 July. In September, Saied partially suspended the country's constitution and gave himself the power to rule by decree, raising fears of democratic backsliding.

Critics have called Saied's measures a “coup d’etat”, but the 63-year-old president has repeatedly defended his decision, which he said was necessary to "save Tunisia".

In a protest called for by Citizens Against the Coup, hundreds gathered at the capital's Habib Bourguiba Avenue on 17 December to mark the 11th anniversary of the Tunisian revolution.

While surrounded by heavy security presence, dozens staged an overnight sit-in to call for the restoration of democracy and denounce Saied's power grab.