News / Middle East

Former Tunisian Officials Arrested Amid Protests

Graffiti in Tunis reading
Graffiti in Tunis reading "Long live the people" left by protesters demanding that any future government be free of holdovers from the former president's regime, 23 Jan 2011

Police in Tunisia have placed two key allies of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali under house arrest and detained the owner of a private television channel who has family ties to the ousted leader.

State media reported Sunday that Larbi Nasra, the owner of Hannibal TV and a relative of Ben Ali's wife, was arrested on charges of treason.

Also detained were the former presidential spokesman, Abdelaziz Ben Dhia, and head of the Senate, Abdallah Kallel.

Meanwhile, protesters continue to demand the ouster of everyone associated with the former president, who fled the country earlier this month.

Hundreds of people took to the streets Sunday to demand that holdovers from Ben Ali's reign be kept out of the new government.

The unrest erupted in December over discontent with high unemployment and food prices. The government said earlier that at least 78 people had been killed in the violence. U.N. officials have said the death toll may be as high as 100.

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