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q&a: tunisia's protest leaders vow to keep up pressure | news


tunis, tunisia - large protests broke out across tunisia this month over a government decision to impose strict economic and tax reforms that increased the price of basic goods.the anti-austerity protests come as tunisians mark the seventh anniversary of the fall of longtime leader zine el abidine ben ali, who was forced from power after a popular revolution in 2011.rallies have been held in tunis, the capital, and elsewhere across the country, led by the civil movement "fech nestannew" (what are we waiting for?). nearly 800 protesters have been arrested, according to united nations figures, including 200 people between the ages of 15 and 20. a 2016 deal between tunisia and the international monetary fund (imf) is a large reason behind the austerity measures, critics say. the four-year, $2






erdogan pledges to boost turkey-tunisia trade ties | tunisia news


turkey has announced plans to strengthen its economic ties with tunisia, with leaders of the two countries signing several cooperation agreements during a two-day trip by recep tayyip erdogan to the north african country.the turkish president met his tunisian counterpart, beji caid essebsi, at carthage presidential palace in the capital tunis on wednesday morning.the leaders signed four separate agreements, pledging to work together in the fields of defence, trade and the environment, turkey's anadolu news agency reported."boosting a balanced trade volume will continue to be one of the priorities for our bilateral economic agenda," erdogan said during a joint news conference alongside essebsi, according to anadolu.erdogan said he was accompanied by 150 turkish investors and would encourage






tunisian government denounces protesters after rioting death


tunis, tunisia — tunisia's prime minister is promising to crack down on rioters after violent protests over price hikes that left one person dead.a 45-year-old protester died, dozens were arrested and several police were injured in protest clashes in several regions over sunday and monday.the incidents recalled the 2010-2011 protest movement that led to the authoritarian president's ouster and unleashed uprisings across the arab world. tunisia's economy has struggled ever since.prime minister youssef chahed said tuesday that the overnight protests shouldn't be considered regular demonstrations but "acts of vandalism, looting and violence against citizens, and this is unacceptable."he insisted that the government respects the right to protest but said the rioting was "outside of the law" an






tunisian government denounces protesters after rioting death


tunis, tunisia (ap) — tunisia’s prime minister is promising to crack down on rioters after violent protests over price hikes that left one person dead.a 45-year-old protester died, dozens were arrested and several police were injured in protest clashes in several regions over sunday and monday.the incidents recalled the 2010-2011 protest movement that led to the authoritarian president’s ouster and unleashed uprisings across the arab world. tunisia’s economy has struggled ever since.prime minister youssef chahed said tuesday that the overnight protests shouldn’t be considered regular demonstrations but “acts of vandalism, looting and violence against citizens, and this is unacceptable.”most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.he insisted that the government respects the ri






tunisia suspends emirates flights after ban targets women


tunis, tunisia — tunisia has suspended all flights by emirates to and from tunis after the dubai-based airline barred tunisian women from boarding its flights last week.the tunisian presidency said monday the united arab emirates' authorities explained that they made the decision following "serious security information" about alleged plans for attacks by tunisian women, or women with tunisian passports, from "tense hotbeds" in syria and iraq.uae's minister of state for foreign affairs anwar gargash wrote on twitter that the ban was temporary and due to security reasons.the barring of tunisian women has caused anger among rights groups and political parties in tunisia. a protest was scheduled outside the uae's embassy in tunis later in the day.tunisia summoned uae's ambassador on friday fol






merkel visits egypt, tunisia to talk about migration


berlin — german chancellor angela merkel will visit egypt and tunisia this week with migration at the top of her agenda as she meets her counterparts in the north african nations.merkel's spokesman steffen seibert said wednesday germany is interested in helping egypt strengthen its coastguard and clamp down on illegal trafficking across the mediterranean, which leads to thousands of deaths each year.germany also intends to work together more closely with the two countries to curtail overall migration from africa to europe.the german government will also talk about both egypt and tunisia taking back asylum-seekers who have been rejected in germany.merkel will visit egypt on thursday and tunisia on friday. beyond meeting the two countries' leaders, she will talk to religious leaders and memb






thousands protest tunisia's corruption amnesty bill | tunisia news


more than 2,000 tunisians marched in the country’s capital protesting a proposed amnesty bill that would see businessmen accused of corruption under ousted president zine el abidine ben ali walk free.at the demonstration against the economic reconcilliation bill on saturday, the protesters claimed the bill would contradict the spirit of tunisia's 2011 revolution that ousted ben ali.but government officials said a pardon would be a way for the businessmen to inject their fraudulent money back into the country's economy.waving flags and banners that read "no to forgiveness" and "enough corruption", the protesters, accompanied by opposition party leaders and activists, marched through tunis' central avenue."today we are saying the defenders of the revolution are still here," protester sabra c






how will tunisia recover from its economic woes? | tunisia


more than 770 people have been arrested in tunisia since protests against the government's austerity measures erupted last sunday. the army was deployed to the streets of several cities and towns after protesters set fire to dozens of state buildings this week. at least one person has been killed in the protests.the government, however, has vowed to stick to its budget.the violence has prompted fears of instability in tunisia, a country that is widely regarded as the only democratic success story from the arab spring uprisings.the north african nation, however, has had nine governments since the overthrow of its longtime dictator in 2011. so, how will tunisia resolve its deep-rooted economic problems? presenter: adrian finighanguests:osama al-saghir - mp with conservative ennahdha party an






how will tunisia recover from its economic woes? | tunisia


more than 770 people have been arrested in tunisia since protests against the government's austerity measures erupted last sunday. the army was deployed to the streets of several cities and towns after protesters set fire to dozens of state buildings this week. at least one person has been killed in the protests.the government, however, has vowed to stick to its budget.the violence has prompted fears of instability in tunisia, a country that is widely regarded as the only democratic success story from the arab spring uprisings.the north african nation, however, has had nine governments since the overthrow of its longtime dictator in 2011. so, how will tunisia resolve its deep-rooted economic problems? presenter: adrian finighanguests:osama al saghir - mp with conservative ennahda party and






tunisia orders army to protect oil and gas fields | tunisia news


tunisia's president beji caid essebsi has ordered the army to protect the output of the country's main resources following a wave of protests over unemployment and worsening economic conditions. protests return to tunisia as trading route is closedthis is the first time that troops in tunisia have been deployed to guard industrial installations, including phosphate, gas and oil production facilities, that are key to the national economy."it is a serious decision, but it must be applied to protect our resources," essebsi said on wednesday in a speech to the nation."our democratic path has become threatened and law must be applied but we will respect freedoms. he who wants to go on strike can do it, but without disrupting work," essebsi added.however, the coordinator of a sit-in at el-kamour






tunisia orders army to protect oil and gas fields | tunisia news


tunisia's president beji caid essebsi has ordered the army to protect the output of the country's main resources following a wave of protests over unemployment and worsening economic conditions. protests return to tunisia as trading route is closedit is the first time that troops in tunisia were deployed to guard industrial installations, including phosphate, gas and oil production facilities, that are key to the national economy."it is a serious decision, but it must be applied to protect our resources," essebsi said on wednesday in a speech to the nation."our democratic path has become threatened and law must be applied but we will respect freedoms. he who wants to go on strike can do it, but without disrupting work," essebsi added.however, the coordinator of a sit-in in el-kamour, near






tunisia orders army to protect oil and gas fields | tunisia news


tunisia's president beji caid essebsi has ordered the army to protect the output of the country's main resources following a wave of protests over unemployment and worsening economic conditions. protests return to tunisia as trading route is closedit is the first time that troops in tunisia were deployed to guard industrial installations, including phosphate, gas and oil production facilities, that are key to the national economy."it is a serious decision, but it must be applied to protect our resources," essebsi said on wednesday in a speech to the nation."our democratic path has become threatened and law must be applied but we will respect freedoms. he who wants to go on strike can do it, but without disrupting work," essebsi added.however, the coordinator of a sit-in in el-kamour, near






more protests expected in tunisia after mass arrests | news


correction: 12/01/2018: a previous version of this article misstated the number of people who have been killed in this year's protests. activists in tunisia have called for a major demonstration against the government's decision to increase taxes and the prices of basic goods, after hundreds of people were arrested in previous days of protests.nearly a week of sometimes violent protests across the country followed the announcement of austerity measures in this year's budget, which took effect on january 1. more than 770 people have been detained in nearly a week of sometimes violent demonstrations. at least one person has been killed. the un said it was concerned about the number of arrests during the protests. tunisia's main opposition popular front had called for demonstrations through t






tunisia's youssef chahed names new cabinet | tunisia news


tunisia's prime minister youssef chahed has replaced 13 ministers in a wide cabinet reshuffle that included the interior, defence and finance posts.speculation had been rife for several weeks over new faces in chahed's government following his consultations with political parties and organisations such as the powerful labour union ugtt.tunisia: protesters demand more jobs and higher investmentchahed, in power for just over a year, on wednesday restored ridha chalgoum, a former finance minister close to the ruling nidaa tounes party, to that ministry.he also named lotfi braham, another nidaa tounes ally, as interior minister, according to a statement on the appointments released by the prime minister's office.he appointed ennahda member taoufik rajhi, one of his economic advisers, to the ne






tunisia's youssef chahed names new cabinet | tunisia news


tunisia's prime minister youssef chahed has replaced 13 ministers, in a wide cabinet reshuffle which included the interior, defence and finance posts.speculation had been rife for several weeks over new faces in chahed's government following his consultations with political parties and organisations such as the powerful labour union ugtt.tunisia: protesters demand more jobs and higher investmentchahed, in power for just over a year, on wednesday restored ridha chalgoum, a former finance minister close to the ruling nidaa tounes party, to that ministry.he also named lotfi braham, another nidaa tounes ally, as interior minister, according to a statement on the appointments released by the prime minister's office.he appointed ennahda member taoufik rajhi, one of his economic advisers, to the






tunisia orders army to protect oil and gas fields | tunisia news


tunisia's president beji caid essebsi has ordered the army to protect the output of the country's main resources following a wave of protests over unemployment and worsening economic conditions. protests return to tunisia as trading route is closedit is the first time that troops in tunisia were deployed to guard industrial installations, including phosphate, gas and oil production facilities, that are key to the national economy."it is a serious decision, but it must be applied to protect our resources," essebsi said on wednesday in a speech to the nation."our democratic path has become threatened and law must be applied but we will respect freedoms." since the 2011 revolution, tunisia's democracy has advanced with free elections and a new constitution. yet, the government has faced growi






jihadi launchpad tunisia hesitates taking extremists back


kelibia, tunisia (ap) — tunisia has the unhappy distinction of being one of the world’s biggest exporters of jihadi fighters, only to see young men trained by the islamic state return home to kill western tourists, soldiers and even an unfortunate shepherd.now, as the extremists suffer one battlefield defeat after another, tunisia is being torn by a furious debate over what to do with returnees from among the 3,000 to 6,000 who left — and even how to determine the threat they pose.“the danger is there. these are people who were indoctrinated. these are people who left and who destroyed their tunisian passports and who announced that they belonged to the nation of daesh,” or is, said dr. boutheina chihi ezzine, a leader of a protest movement against a government she fears is too willing to






jihadi launchpad tunisia hesitates taking extremists back


kelibia, tunisia — tunisia has the unhappy distinction of being one of the world's biggest exporters of jihadi fighters, only to see young men trained by the islamic state return home to kill western tourists, soldiers and even an unfortunate shepherd.now, as the extremists suffer one battlefield defeat after another, tunisia is being torn by a furious debate over what to do with returnees from among the 3,000 to 6,000 who left — and even how to determine the threat they pose."the danger is there. these are people who were indoctrinated. these are people who left and who destroyed their tunisian passports and who announced that they belonged to the nation of daesh," or is, said dr. boutheina chihi ezzine, a leader of a protest movement against a government she fears is too willing to downp






wajiha jendoubi: 'theatre is my weapon' | tunisia


wajiha jendoubi is an actress and one of tunisia's best-known comedians. to be a woman comedian in this north african nation can be a challenge, but the country's gender gap is narrowing for the first time in almost a decade and wajiha sees tunisia as a country that stands for women's rights and supports it. "my tunisia is the free woman. my tunisia is the woman who speaks out. my tunisia is the woman who is active; the militant one, the hard-working one. my tunisia is my world," says the popular comedian who is on a mission to make tunisians laugh about the tough things in life."my artistic choices are always about painful subjects. i like to talk about what people are afraid to confront or even don't know how to express. but i always like to say it in a comic way because humour easily re






tunisian businessmen arrested in 'war on corruption' | tunisia news


tunisia declared a "war on corruption" on wednesday after the arrest of three businessmen and a customs officer suspected of graft and financing protests.corruption was widespread under zine el abidine ben ali, the president who was ousted in a 2011 uprising, and has remained endemic since."in the war on corruption, there's no choice. it's either corruption or the state. either corruption or tunisia," said prime minister youssef chahed."i want to reassure all tunisians that the government will see this war on corruption through to the end," he said in his first comments since the arrests started on tuesday.a senior official, on condition of anonymity, said that businessmen chafik jarraya, yassine chennoufi and nejib ben ismail along with customs officer ridha ayari were arrested tuesday "u






tunisia extends state of emergency for 3 more months


tunis, tunisia — tunisia's president has decided to extend the state of emergency in the country for three more months.president beji caid essebsi's office said friday the decision takes effect on sunday in the north african nation.the state of emergency has been in place since november 2015. it gives more power to police, especially to ban strikes and gatherings.the decision comes after a police commander was stabbed to death by a suspected islamic extremist near tunisia's parliament in tunis earlier this month.tunisia suffered major extremist attacks in 2015, including at the famed bardo museum in the capital, where 22 people were killed. in addition, an attack on a beach hotel near sousse killed 38 people and one on a bus carrying presidential guards in tunis left 12 dead.






leaders in the arab spring era: where are they now? | news


the killing of former yemeni president ali abdullah saleh by houthi rebels on monday marks the end of another arab leader deposed by the arab spring protests.saleh's death came after he announced the end of his cooperation with the houthis on saturday, in a move orchestrated by the united arab emirates, one of the key forces in the saudi-led coalition battling the houthis.{articleguid}the former president had ruled north yemen since 1978 before north and south yemen merged in 1990. saleh was then sworn in as president of a united yemen. he remained president until 2012 when he formally ceded power to abd-rabbu mansour hadi, the saudi-backed president currently fighting the houthis.saleh's resignation followed the yemeni revolution, which was part of the broader arab spring that took hold o






anti-austerity protests in tunisia turn deadly | news


a 55-year-old man has died after a protest over government austerity measures in tunisia, the country's state news agency tunis afrique presse (tap) has reported.five others were injured during the demonstration, which took place in tebourba, 40km west of the capital tunis, according to tap.the tunisian ministry of interior confirmed in a statement on monday evening that a 55-year-old man had died in a local hospital after being admitted with symptoms of dizziness.he suffered from a "chronic shortness of breath" and carried "no signs of violence or [having been] run over", and a forensic doctor has been tasked with determining the cause of death, the statement said.speculation on social media throughout monday evening suggested that the man had died after being hit by a security forces veh






anti-austerity protests in tunisia turn deadly | news


a 55-year-old man has died after a protest over government austerity measures in tunisia, the country's state news agency tunis afrique presse (tap) has reported.five others were injured during the demonstration, which took place in tebourba, 40km west of the capital tunis, according to tap.the tunisian ministry of interior confirmed in a statement on monday evening that a 55-year-old man had died in a local hospital after being admitted with symptoms of dizziness.he suffered from "chronic shortness of breath" and showed "no signs of violence or [having been] run over", and a forensic doctor has been tasked with determining the cause of death, the statement said.speculation on social media throughout monday evening suggested that the man had died after being hit by a security forces vehicl






italy premier in tunisia to discuss migration, libya, terror


tunis, tunisia — italy's premier has met with tunisian leaders during a two-day working visit to discuss terrorism, migration and the impact of the chaotic situation in libya, subjects that deeply touch both countries.paolo gentiloni met on saturday with tunisian president beji caid essebsi and prime minister youssef chahed. he told reporters that the north african country bordering libya and battling islamic militants who have launched attacks in recent years needs increased aid from european partners.he said that "it is crucial to reduce regional disparities and social inequalities in tunisia" that feed migration to italy and impact the terrorism fight.he said an accord signed six years ago to contain illegal migration is working again and an uptick slowed. under the accord, italy can se






woman held in tunisia after car tries to run over police


tunis, tunisia — a woman was arrested in tunisia's capital wednesday for allegedly attempting to run over police officers standing in front of a government building, tunisian authorities said.three police officers were slightly injured when metal barriers knocked over by the woman's car fell on them, the north african country's interior ministry said.the driver tried to flee but was immediately arrested, the ministry said. authorities are investigating possible motives.the ministry said later in a statement that a preliminary investigation indicated the attack had "no terrorist motive, but rather a criminal character."the woman was said to be going through a "difficult psychic state" and allegedly wanted to draw attention to her situation, according to the ministry.last week, a police comm






tunisia freezes assets of former presidential hopeful | tunisia news


authorities in tunisia have announced that they froze the assets of football club magnate and former presidential hopeful slim riahi on suspicions of money laundering.an investigating judge imposed the restriction on all of riahi's shares on the stock market, bank accounts and property, said prosecution spokesman sofiene sliti on wednesday.tunisian corruption whistleblowers call for protectionriahi was quick to respond to the allegations, telling the private nessma tv channel he was a victim of "political blackmail" and that the anti-corruption drive was selective.without naming them, riahi accused certain parties of being behind the move aimed at getting rid of him and denounced "defamation... by some media working for the government".the businessman has a nebulous past, with the origin o






tunisia freezes assets of former presidential hopeful | tunisia news


authorities in tunisia have announced freezing of the assets of football club magnate and former presidential hopeful slim riahi on suspicions of money laundering.an investigating judge imposed the restriction on all of riahi's shares on the stock market, bank accounts and property, said prosecution spokesman sofiene sliti on wednesday.tunisian corruption whistleblowers call for protectionriahi was quick to respond to the allegations, telling the private nessma tv channel he was a victim of "political blackmail" and that the anti-corruption drive was selective.without naming them, riahi accused certain parties of being behind the move aimed at getting rid of him and denounced "defamation... by some media working for the government".the businessman has a nebulous past, with the origin of hi






merkel visits egypt, tunisia to talk about migration


berlin (ap) — german chancellor angela merkel is heading to egypt and tunisia this week to discuss migration and development in the north africa nations.merkel’s spokesman steffen seibert said wednesday that berlin is interested in helping egypt strengthen its coastguard and clamp down on illegal trafficking across the mediterranean, which leads to thousands of deaths each year.merkel will visit egypt on thursday and tunisia on friday. beyond meeting the two countries’ leaders, she will talk to muslim and coptic christian faith leaders and members of civil society.the visit to tunisia will have acute significance as anis amri, the man who killed 12 people in a truck attack on a berlin christmas market after his asylum request had been rejected was from the country. several attempts to depo






q&a: amira yahyaoui on press freedom and fake news | journalism matters


paris, france - hailed as one of the most influential arab women in the world, tunisian amira yahyaoui is a self-described "human rights extremist".she rallies against censorship and fights for free speech.exiled from tunisia while protesting against the government of president zine el abidine ben ali, she moved to france where she remained stateless for a few years until the longtime leader stepped down.al jazeera spoke with yahyaoui in paris, where she addressed unesco's 2017 journalism under fire conference, on the subjects of censorship, "fake news" and the state of journalism in tunisia.al jazeera: how far back does your work as human rights activist in tunisia go?amira yahyaoui: i was an activist before the revolution and mostly part of the crowd against internet censorship. i had to






berlin truck attack prompts accord between germany, tunisia


tunis, tunisia — german chancellor angela merkel says she and the tunisian president have agreed to speed the process of expelling tunisians whose asylum applications have been rejected by germany.the agreement comes in the wake of the fatal attack in berlin carried out by a tunisian who drove a truck into a christmas market, killing 12 and injuring dozens of others. anis amri's asylum request was rejected, but germany has said tunisian bureaucratic delays meant he hadn't yet been expelled.merkel says she and president beji caid essebsi agreed friday that the identities of some 1,500 tunisian asylum-seekers would be resolved by tunisia within 30 days.germany will help tunisia set up a registration system, and identity papers are expected to be issued within a week.






tunisian opposition leader calls for continued protests | tunisia news


tunisia's main opposition party has called for continued protests against "unjust" government austerity measures, a day after widespread demonstrations left one person dead and several others injured, according to reports.protests took place in a number of towns across tunisia on monday following the government's decision to raise taxes under its 2018 finance act. the budget, which took effect on january 1, hiked fuel prices and introduced new tax measures related to the purchase of housing. hamma hammami, leader of the opposition popular front party, told reporters that multiple opposition groups would meet on tuesday to "coordinate our movements"."we will stay on the street and we will increase the pace of the protests until the unjust financial law is dropped," he said, according to reu






italy premier in tunisia to discuss migration, libya, terror


tunis, tunisia (ap) — italy’s premier has met with tunisian leaders during a two-day working visit to discuss terrorism, migration and the impact of the chaotic situation in libya, subjects that deeply touch both countries.paolo gentiloni met on saturday with tunisian president beji caid essebsi and prime minister youssef chahed. he told reporters that the north african country bordering libya and battling islamic militants who have launched attacks in recent years needs increased aid from european partners.he said that “it is crucial to reduce regional disparities and social inequalities in tunisia” that feed migration to italy and impact the terrorism fight.he said an accord signed six years ago to contain illegal migration is working again and an uptick slowed. under the accord, italy c






tunisia suspends emirates airlines flights | news


tunisia's transport ministry has announced the suspension of all emirates airlines flights to and from the north african country.the move on sunday came two days after tunisian women were denied boarding their flights to dubai on the united arab emirates-based carrier.the transport ministry said in a statement on its facebook page that it "has decided to suspend flights of emirates airlines to and from tunisia until the company can find a suitable solution to operate its flights in accordance with international laws and treaties".according to tunisia's state-run news agency, salem zeabi, the uae ambassador to tunisia, was called in to the ministry of foreign affairs on friday to "provide clarification on the measure banning" tunisian women from flying to or transiting through the gulf stat






protest leaders: we’re not going away, in spite of arrests


st. louis (ap) — protest leaders in st. louis say the arrest of a clergyman who was taken to the ground and subdued with pepper spray is the latest incident in which police have been responsible for “unnecessary and dangerous violence” against demonstrators.about 20 faith leaders and other protest organizers gathered monday at wayman ame church to pledge that law-abiding but disruptive demonstrations will continue. they also allege that police have too often become violent with protesters.the rev. darryl gray of the missouri baptist state convention was arrested friday night near busch stadium. the protest was among many since a judge last month acquitted former police officer jason stockley in the death of a black man.messages seeking comment from police and mayor lyda krewson’s office we






protester dies amid fears of more unrest in tunisia | news


one person was killed after a national guard vehicle ran him over, and dozens others were injured after protesters clashed with security forces in southern tunisia, raising fears of mounting social unrest in a region rocked by weeks of protest. the young protester was killed on monday after a national guard's vehicle "accidentally" ran him, the health ministry said."the health ministry announces the accidental death of a young man, (run over) by the national guard. he was a protester," the ministry told afp news agency.the death comes as tensions have risen between protesters, who are demanding jobs and a share in revenue from local gas and oil companies, and security forces outside the el kamour oil and gas pumping station.protesters have been camping outside the desert installation in th






rebels free colombian ex-lawmaker, key step to peace talks


bogota, colombia — colombia's second-largest rebel group on thursday freed a captive former congressman whose release was a key condition for the start of peace talks with the government.the national liberation army turned odin sanchez over to a humanitarian commission including members of the international committee of the red cross.president juan manuel santos has made sanchez's release a condition for starting long-delayed peace talks with the group known as the eln. a peace deal with the much larger revolutionary armed forces of colombia is now being implemented."finally this nightmare is over," patrocinio sanchez, a brother of the politician, told the ociated press as he waited at an airport in the western city of quibdo for the arrival of the helicopter carrying his brother to freedo