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Crowd rallies against foreign interference in African state

Hundreds gather in support of the Tunisian president after the EU and UN accuse the government of violating human rights

A rally was held in the Tunisian capital on Sunday, voicing support for President Kais Saied and denouncing foreign interference. 

Hundreds gathered in front of the municipal theatre in Tunis shortly after the EU, France and the UN criticized the head of state over a series of arrests earlier this month in the north African nation, targeting journalists, activists, and lawyers.

Demonstrators marched to the French Embassy, hoisting a Tunisian flag, and chanting: “The people want Kais Saied.”

“We are here to support Saied … We are against foreign intervention and traitors,” Ammar Hassen, one of the marchers, told Reuters. 

In response to international criticism, the Foreign Ministry has summoned several Western ambassadors, urging their countries to stop meddling in Tunisia’s internal affairs. 

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FILE PHOTO: Buses line up in Ras Jdir, Tunisia.
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Last week, lawyers in Tunisia declared a one-day strike and took to the streets, claiming that one of two lawyers detained in a raid on the national bar association had been tortured, a claim the Interior Ministry denies.

A lawyer was seized at the bar association’s headquarters, and another was hospitalized after injuries suffered during his arrest by security forces. Both have been charged under a cybercrime law against “fake news”.

In April 2023, Kais Saied pledged that the country would not be influenced by external pressure, and called Tunisian sovereignty to be respected, saying the country has sufficient resources to tackle its own internal issues.

May 20, 2024 at 05:05PM

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