Salafists Disrupt Third Show in a Week
A group of Salafists in Bizerte, Tunisia attacked attendees of a performance at the Al-Aqsa Festival, sending at least five people to the hospital and canceling the show. Police dispersed the men, who were armed with sticks and swords, and made four arrests, but some witness accounts allege that authorities waited an hour before intervening. The attack was the third and most violent such disruption of a theatrical show in as many days in Tunisia, following the cancellation of a comedy show and a Sufi music festival. Some have accused the ruling Ennahda party of influencing police responses to these protests, with some critics arguing that authorities have been more eager to disperse anti-government protests in recent weeks than Salafist ones.
Meanwhile in neighboring Libya, Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur is denying reports that Maumar Gaddafi‘s son Saif al-Islam will go on trail next month in Zintan without involvement from the International Criminal Court. An article in the U.K.’s Sunday Telegraph had reported that the time and location for a trial independent of the ICC had been settled, but Abushagur refuted this, saying discussions were ongoing and that the government would like the ICC to be involved to be “as fair as possible.”
In addition, Najwa al-Beshti, a former employee of Libya’s National Oil Corporation, writes in the New York Times that foreign oil lobbyists are undermining an open and fair bidding process in Libya. Beshti urges the Security and Exchange Commission to resist these lobbying efforts so that Libya’s vast oil resources will be “a force for transparent and open commerce rather than corruption and repression.”