Tunisia

The faculty of Human and Social Sciences at the University of Tunis closed on Thursday last week and suspended classes for three days after violent confrontations broke out between Islamist and leftist students, causing considerable damage to classrooms and facilities – and promising a difficult academic year to come. The incident at the institution’s oldest faculty revived memories of a long history of clashes at the University of Tunis between leftists and Islamists.

Dozens were injured in the Tunisian island of Djerba when protesters clashed with police after authorities reopened a garbage dump. Tunisian authorities claimed they were the victims of a mob armed with firebombs which left 49 policemen injured, but protesters say police instigated the violence. Activists on Twitter say police used live ammunition as well as tear gas to disperse protesters. One demonstrator, Mohammed Ali Borji, was reportedly hit by a bullet, according to activists on the soc...read more

Tunisian civil society is rallying in support of a young woman who was raped by police officers in what they say is part of a broader assault on women's rights by religious conservatives. There is widespread outrage after 27-year-old victim was summoned by the investigating judge on Wednesday to face chargers of 'indecency' from the two men accused of raping her, in what many argue is an attempt by the authorities to intimidate her.

The Tunisian journalists union (SNJT) on Tuesday called a general strike for 17 October over several issues, including demands for freedom of speech. The decision for the journalists to carry out their first ever strike was taken at a meeting held by the SNJT executive board following the breakdown of negotiations with the government on their demands. Differences between the government and the journalists centre on 'arbitrary' appointments in the state media, especially the two state televisi...read more

A group of Tunisian civil society organisations last week warned that the draft law on a new electoral body might put the country's democracy on a dangerous path. 'The government's project is awash with shortcomings and gaps; something which would lead to an election that is neither democratic nor transparent,' Kamel Gharbi, representative of Ofiya coalition, said at the September 19th conference in Tunis. The Ennahda-dominated government in July proposed a set of regulations to establish a n...read more

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