Friday, August 10, 2012

Trouble in Tunisia, again

Most of us have forgotten Tunisia.  It was there that the first spark of the Arab Spring set the movement alight.  But now developments there are worrisome.  The new regime seems to be revealing its true Islamist perspective.  The Tehran Times [!] has an article on what's going on there that reveals how serious the situation has become.

Here are some details worth taking note of:

Warning shots, tear gas fired at Tunisia demos  Middle East Desk
On Line: 10 August 2012 17:08 In Print: Saturday 11 August 2012 
[There was] a second anti-government protest in the central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, birthplace of last year's revolution.  ... 800 demonstrators furious at police intervention against a protest earlier in the day threw stones at security forces ....

On Thursday morning hundreds of demonstrators demanding the resignation of the Islamist-led government had tried to force their way into the provincial government headquarters, before the police fired tear gas and warning shots into the air.

Several opposition groups took part in the protest, including the Republican Party, the Tunisian Workers Party and Al-Watan, as well as political independents. ...

A similar incident took place at the end of June, ....

... [There is] ... criticism of the government by opposition and civil society groups, which accuse it of increasingly authoritarian and Islamist tendencies.

Several NGOs have accused Ennahda, which leads the ruling tripartite coalition, of seeking to curtail freedom of expression, most recently with a draft law to criminalize offences against “sacred values” that could carry a two-year jail term.

Another controversy has flared up over a proposed article in the new constitution that refers to the “complementarity” of men to women rather than their equality.

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