Tunisia: State of Emergency Extended; Police Protest
Tunisia state news is reporting that the country’s state of emergency has been extended through the end of the year: “Interim President Fouad Mebazza signed the decree extending the state of emergency for the fourth time since it was first enacted” in January. The report did not give an explanation for the extension.
Hundreds of Tunisian police officers protested in Tunis, claiming that the new government has used them as scapegoats. The Associated Press reports that “police on Monday said the 150 members of the security forces under arrest were not receiving fair trials. Some urged an investigation into the deaths of demonstrators, hinting that the army might have been involved in those killings during the monthlong uprising.”
Meanwhile, the first military trial for former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and 22 of his aides began Monday in the city of Kef, and it has been adjourned until December 12. The accused are on trial for “the fatal shootings of 22 demonstrators in the towns of Thala and Kasserine during the uprising. The charges carry a death penalty. Defendants include two former interior ministers, the director of security and the head of special security brigades. Tunisia’s state news agency reported all have denied issuing instructions to open fire on protesters.”