Tunisian army units deployed on Monday evening to protect public and private facilities in the city of Sbeitla in the state of Kasserine (west of the country). Following the outbreak of demonstrations protesting the death of a young man, his family accuses the security forces of killing him.
Eyewitnesses in the city said that military vehicles were stationed in front of administrative institutions and public and private facilities in Sbeitla to protect them from any possible attacks.
They added that dozens of youths went out in the city, on Monday evening, to protest the death of a young man named Haykal Al-Rashidi, whose family accuses the security forces of killing him, after he was severely injured in the head during protests in the city, last week.
Haykal Al-Rashidi’s family told local media that he was hit by a tear gas canister after participating in the demonstrations that erupted this month on the anniversary of the 2011 revolution.
The official “Tunisia Africa” news agency said that the prosecutor’s office in Kasserine – the largest city near Sbeitla – had ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of Al-Rashidi’s death.
The protesters tried to storm the National Security Center in Sbeitla and throw stones at its members. This prompted the security forces to respond with tear gas, leading to hit-and-run operations in the alleys.
For its part, the opposition Labor Party held, in a statement, “the government and the entire system of ruin and its repressive apparatus fully responsible in the blood of the martyr Haykal Al-Rashidi,” and considered that his death set “the last nail in the coffin of the legitimacy of the entire system that has to leave.”
And 26 civil society organizations in Tunisia announced the organization of a protest in front of Parliament today, Tuesday, to denounce the “suppression of protests.”
These developments come amid political tension. On Monday, Tunisian President Qais Said criticized the recent cabinet reshuffle made by Prime Minister Hisham El-Mechichi, saying that he “did not respect the procedures stipulated in the constitution.”
On the other hand, the Tunisian Presidency of the Government issued a statement confirming that the Council of Ministers approved in its meeting today a new restructuring of the government (the cabinet reshuffle) by merging some ministries and removing others.
Today, Tuesday, the Tunisian parliament will hold a session to vote on the cabinet reshuffle, which includes 11 ministerial portfolios out of 25.
Since last Thursday, several governorates and neighborhoods in the capital, Tunis, have witnessed night protests, interspersed with clashes with security men, coinciding with the entry into force of a night curfew, as part of anti-Corona measures, without specifying its duration.