News / Africa

    Tunisian Mourners, Police Clash at Opposition Leader Funeral

    Tunisians hold a placard with an image of the late secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid during his funeral procession in the Jebel Jelloud district in Tunis, February 8, 2013.
    Tunisians hold a placard with an image of the late secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid during his funeral procession in the Jebel Jelloud district in Tunis, February 8, 2013.
    Lisa Bryant
    Thousands of people flocked to Tunis's main cemetery, as they paid last respects to a leftist opposition politician who was assassinated earlier this week. Friday's event was marred by violence as police fired tear gas and clashed with young protesters outside the cemetery.  

    The cemetery was a sea of people who scaled walls and tombstones under rain and wind, straining for a glimpse of the funeral cortege of slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

    Some sang Tunisia's national anthem and many showed up with Tunisia's red and white flag wrapped around them.

    Many expressed anger at Tunisia's rising insecurity that culminated in Belaid's assassination on Wednesday - and bitterness that the hopes of the country's 2011 revolution have failed to pan out. That was the reaction of 50-year-old doctor Slim Sambura, who attended Belaid's funeral with his family.

    tunisia tear gastunisia tear gas
    x
    tunisia tear gas
    tunisia tear gas
    "We do a revolution the 14th of January [2011] for good life, democracy and safety. And now we don't have security, we don't have democracy. And our government doesn't do anything for the safety, for security for our children," said Belaid.

    Many Tunisians are concerned about the rise of hardline Islamists, who have reportedly attacked or threatened opposition politicians, artists and other secular figures. Belaid's family has blamed the ruling party, Ennahda, for his death. The party adamantly denies the accusation, however, and has condemned his killing.

    Related video by Jeff Seldin and Mark Snowiss


    Tunisians Mourn Slain Opposition Leaderi
    X
    February 08, 2013 3:19 PM
    Mourners have clashed with police at the funeral of slain Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid - his death sparking new anger against the government and plunging the country into further uncertainty. VOA's Jeff Seldin and Mark Snowiss have the latest.


    • Supporters of the ruling Ennahda party shout slogans in support of the party during a demonstration in Tunis, Feb. 9, 2013.
    • A tear gas canister flies in the air as thousands of Tunisians gathered at el Jallez cemetery to attend the funeral of slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid, Feb. 8, 2013.
    • A Tunisian woman walks past burning cars during clashes with the police near the funeral of slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid, Feb. 8, 2013.
    • Riot police clash with protesters next to the cemetery where thousands of Tunisians gathered to attend the funeral of slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid, near Tunis, Feb. 8, 2013.
    • Mourners carry the coffin of opposition leader Chokri Belaid during his funeral procession, Tunis, Tunisia, Feb. 8, 2013.
    • A sticker with an image of the late opposition leader Chokri Belaid is seen as a woman mourns during his funeral procession, Tunis, Feb. 8, 2013.
    • Mourners carry the coffin of slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid during his funeral procession towards El-Jellaz cemetary, Tunis, Feb. 8, 2013.
    • Tunisians accompany the ambulance carrying the body of opposition leader Chokri Belaid, from his home to his father's home, Tunis, Feb. 7, 2013.
    • A woman cries over the coffin of opposition leader Chokri Belaid, in Tunis, Feb. 7, 2013.
    • Protesters gather on Tunis 'main avenue after a Tunisian opposition leader critical of the Islamist-led government was gunned down as he left home, Feb.6, 2013.
    • A protester gestures to police during clashes in Tunis, Feb. 6, 2013.
    • The body of Chokri Belaid, a prominent Tunisian opposition politician, is carried into an ambulance after he was shot, in Tunis Feb. 6, 2013.
    • Basma Chokri, the wife of assassinated prominent Tunisian opposition politician Chokri Belaid, mourns in Tunis Feb. 6, 2013.

    But some demonstrators at the funeral held banners labeling Ennahda assassins.

    Business executive Reima Chtioui said that even if Ennahda is not directly responsible for Belaid's death, it is partly responsible because it allowed violence to escalate in recent months.

    Belaid's death marks a worrying turn for this North African nation once heralded as a possible model for Arab democracy. Trade unions also declared a national strike on Friday.

    The country's rising violence was underscored at the end of the funeral ceremony, as police lobbed tear gas and clashed with protesters outside the walls of the cemetery. People attending the funeral fled, with scarves wrapped around their faces. Unrest also was reported elsewhere in Tunisia on Friday.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Hatem Zaki from: Egypt
    February 08, 2013 1:16 PM
    who is next? in Libya they murdered the minister of defense ,in Tunisia they assassinated Belaid .but who are they ? of course there are invisible hand try to spread chaos in the Arab spring countries .these countries are at stake .the Islamist-secularist conflict will lead to nothing but civil war .they must put off their false consciousness

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora