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13 Sep 09:06 PM UTC

Tunisia: Protests against corruption amnesty in Tunis Sep. 15

Protests break out in Tunis against legislation granting amnesty to Ben Ali-era officials accused of corruption September 13; further protests possible

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/20/2017, 8:13 PM until 11/20/2017, 8:13 PM (Africa/Tunis).

COUNTRY/REGION Tunis

Event

Protests broke out in Tunis on Wednesday, September 13, as the Tunisian parliament passed a controversial bill that grants amnesty to former Ben Ali-era officials accused of corruption. The protesters assembled outside of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, holding signs and chanting slogans decrying perceived complicity with historical corruption under former President Ben Ali's tenure. Eyewitnesses reported that Tunisian police allegedly beat protesters chanting slogans against the ruling Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes parties, as well as against President Beji Caid Essebsi, who initially proposed the bill.

Continued protests and possible transportation disruptions against the passing of the corruption amnesty bill are possible in coming days.

Context

Corruption has remained an endemic problem in Tunisia's economic and political life even after its Arab Spring revolution in 2011, according to Transparency International's annual "Corruption Perceptions Index." Tunisia ranked 75th out of 176 countries surveyed in the 2016 iteration of the index. The country's inability to meet popular expectations of economic progress, continued corruption, and the persistence of stark economic inequality since the 2011 revolution has also fomented periodic outbreaks of civil unrest in the country.

Advice

Generally speaking, individuals in Tunisia are advised to avoid all protests as a precaution due to the risk of violence.