Tunisian demonstrators flash victory signs during a solidarity rally with the victims of Sidi Bouzid clashes in January
Tunisian demonstrators flash victory signs during a solidarity rally with the victims of Sidi Bouzid clashes in January 2011 in Tunis. Relatives of those killed during the uprising that toppled Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and launched the Arab Spring disrupted a ceremony Sunday in memory of the dead, calling for justice. © Fethi Belaid - AFP/File
Tunisian demonstrators flash victory signs during a solidarity rally with the victims of Sidi Bouzid clashes in January
AFP
Last updated: November 20, 2011

Relatives of Tunisia's fallen call for justice at rally

Relatives of those killed during the uprising that toppled Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and launched the Arab Spring disrupted a ceremony Sunday in memory of the dead, calling for justice.

A small group of people who had lost family members in the unrest pushed their way onto the podium at the ceremony, at the El Menzah stadium in Tunis, to make their feelings known.

"How can you invite us to celebrate when we have not finished grieving," demanded Sihem Jeffel, 37, whose husband Tahar was shot dead in Kram on January 13, near the presidential palace of Carthage.

It was the independent election body (ISIE) that organised the event, which included speeches, music and poetry in memory of the fallen. The protest came as ISIE president Kamel Jendoubi started his introductory speech.

The protesters called for the truth about the killers of the pro-democracy demonstrators, complained the investigations into the killings were taking too long and denounced what they said was official indifference.

But not everyone among the hundreds attending felt the same way.

"Thank you Mr. Jendoubi -- paying homage to our martyrs is a good gesture," said Maoubia, the mother of Mohamed Bouazizi.

It was the young street-vendor Bouazizi's December 13 death by self-immolation in Sidi Bouzid to protest the abuses that he and he regularly suffered under the Ben Ali regime that set off the revolt.

A little over a month later, on January 14, Ben Ali had fled the country for Saudi Arabia.

But the security forces killed around 300 people during the uprising, according to UN figures -- more according to local campaigners.

The new interim authorities set up an investigation into crackdown on the uprising has still to deliver its findings.

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