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Iran Press TV

Tunisian lawmakers join protests against killing of opposition figure

Iran Press TV

Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:57AM GMT

A group of Tunisian lawmakers have staged a sit-in in front of the parliament in protest against the recent assassination of a leading opposition figure.

The lawmakers said on Sunday that they hold the government led by the ruling Ennahda Party responsible for the killing of Mohamed Brahmi, which sparked protests over the past week in the capital Tunis and other cities.

They also announced that some 70 lawmakers resigned from Tunisia’s transitional National Constituent Assembly (NCA), calling for the dissolution of the parliament over the worsening security situation.

Iyed Dahmani said, “Will we join the General Assembly on Monday or Tuesday? I answered, and I think that I did in the name of all my colleagues: ‘The MPs who retired won’t come back to the Assembly neither on Monday, nor Tuesday, nor any other day.”

Some lawmakers censured security forces for handling of the protests.

“We want to say that security forces’ behavior yesterday was very rude, repressive. They were very nervous. Some policemen were ethical but most of them, and specially the anti-riot brigade, this brigade was wild,” said lawmaker Samir Bettaib.

On July 27, Tunisian police forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse thousands of angry protesters who had gathered near constituent assembly to protest the assassination.

Thousands of people also joined Brahmi’s funeral on the streets of Tunis.

Brahmi’s body has been taken to the cemetery where another assassinated opposition politician Shukri Belaid has been laid to rest.

Brahmi was assassinated outside his home in the Tunisian capital on July 25.

The assassinations of opposition figures have triggered nationwide demonstrations, with protesters calling on the government to step down.

Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou said on July 26 that the assassination of Brahmi was the work of a member of the extremist Salafist movement, adding, “The first elements of the investigation show the implication of Boubaker Hakim, a Salafist extremist.”

The Interior Ministry also said the opposition politician was murdered with the same weapon used in the killing of another opposition figure in February.

Tunisia has seen numerous clashes between the authorities and extremist groups over the past few months.

The birthplace of pro-democracy protests across North Africa and the Middle East, Tunisia is struggling with a democratic changeover after the overthrow of its dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

Ennahda was elected following the ouster of Ben Ali.


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