Tunisian attorneys strike for one day protesting police brutality

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By Creative Media News

  • Tunisian lawyers strike against colleagues’ arrest, decrying government actions
  • Street protests erupt in Tunis over attorneys’ detention, journalist arrests
  • Government faces criticism for power consolidation and dissent suppression

In response to the recent apprehension of two of their colleagues, attorneys in the north African country of Tunisia have initiated a one-day strike. This comes as opposition to the repressive actions taken by President Kais Saied grows.

Hundreds of people took to the streets in Tunis’s capital city on Thursday to express their outrage over the arrest of the two attorneys, one of whom allegedly endured torture while in detention. Additionally, two journalists were detained recently.

“Terror, not fear.” Protesters chanted “The people own power” near the Palace of Justice.

The government, despite its denials of malfeasance and abuse, has consistently faced criticism for its efforts to centralize power and suppress dissent. Last week, there were also protests that demanded President Saied, whom detractors have accused of becoming more autocratic since assuming office in 2019, schedule elections following the controversial closure of parliament and expansion of executive authority.

Tunisian police raided the bar association’s headquarters on Monday in an attempt to capture attorney Mahdi Zagrouba, the president’s opponent. Over the weekend, Tunisian police apprehended another attorney, Sonia Dahmani.

The association reported that bruises on Zagrouba’s body were evidence of torment. A contentious cybercrime statute that specifically targets “fake news” indicts both Zagrouba and Dahmani.

“We categorically deny any claims of brutality or maltreatment against the attorney. According to Fakher Bouzghaia, an official from the Tunisian Ministry of the Interior, he assaulted a police officer during a protest this week, evading culpability.

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“We demand an apology from the authorities for the monumental errors committed in the arrests,” stated Hatem Mziou, the president of the bar association.

He continued, “We are fighting for a democratic atmosphere and freedom of expression.”

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