Thousands Demonstrate in Tunis Despite Police Blockade

Thousands took part in Tunisia’s largest demonstration in years on Saturday, February 6, to commemorate the 2013 assassination of a prominent activist and to protest alleged police abuses amid dire economic circumstances.

The protests took place in spite of a police blockade that closed off parts of the city center, and follow reports from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International alleging excessive force by police during recent protests.

Unlike those protests, the February 6 demonstrations had the backing of the country’s largest and most powerful union, UGTT, which called on members to “participate actively” in commemorating Chokri Belaid, a secular activist killed in 2013, to “expose the truth about of political assassinations” and to confront the issues of “violence, hate speech, and to reject the restriction of freedoms.” Credit: Donatella Rovera via Storyful