Thousands spill onto streets in Tunis, Tunisia defying police lockdown

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Published on February 6, 2021 by

Thousands of protesters backed by Tunisia’s powerful labour union gathered in the country’s capital city on Saturday, one of the country’s largest demonstration in years, defying a police lockdown that blocked roads across a large part of Tunis.

The rally marks the anniversary of the 2013 killing of a prominent activist, and was intended as a rebuke of police abuses that demonstrators say have imperiled freedoms won in the 2011 revolution that triggered the “Arab spring.”

Protests that began last month over inequality have increasingly focused on the large number of arrests and reports, denied by the Interior Ministry, of abuse of detainees.

Unlike previous marches, Saturday’s rally was backed by the UGTT union— the country’s most powerful political organization.

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