News / Africa

Tunisians Take to Streets to Mourn Slain Protesters

Demonstrators gather outside the Interior Ministry in Tunis, 21 Jan 2011
Demonstrators gather outside the Interior Ministry in Tunis, 21 Jan 2011
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Bryant

A week after protests toppled Tunisian dictator President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisians again took to the streets Friday as the country mourned the victims of weeks of unrest.

Tunisian police participated for the first time in demonstrations in downtown Tunis against the interim government and old ruling RCD party of former strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.  Burly officers in uniform tied red ribbons on their arms, symbolizing the color of the Tunisian flag - and their solidarity with the demonstrators.

'We Tunisians, young and old, are all together,' one policeman said. 'We are united and we regret our martyrs haven't been wrapped in the Tunisian flag.'

Tunisia's military is popular here, and the tanks manning the Tunis streets are blanketed with flowers. Ordinary Tunisians credit the army protecting protesters against tear-gas wielding riot police and reestablishing order. By contrast, police are seen as symbols of Ben Ali's repressive regime.

But the demonstrators here welcomed those police who joined their ranks.

"This manifestation [shows] that police, army, citizens, we are all Tunisian," said a woman. "We seek freedom we seek dignity, we seek everything for Tunisia, for the best of Tunisia."

The demonstrations gathered hundreds in the capital and in other parts of the country, as Tunisia began three days of national mourning for the victims of weeks of unrest. The United Nations says about 100 people have died since the start of the uprising in December, while the government estimates at least 78 dead.

The interim government has moved swiftly to implement a series of reforms. It has also promised elections, arrested members of the Ben Ali clan, launched corruption probes against them and and frozen their assets. But protesters want every trace of what they consider the old corrupt and dictorial regime banished - including senior members of this caretaker government.

Timeline of Tunisia on Dipity.

 

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid