Tunisia Imposes a Night Curfew Ahead of Arab Spring Anniversary
(Bloomberg) -- Tunisia imposed a nighttime curfew and banned gatherings for two weeks, moves authorities said were meant to contain Covid-19 but that could also curb protests to mark the start of the Arab Spring uprising at a time when a presidential power-grab is facing growing criticism.
The restrictions, announced by the prime minister’s office in a statement, take effect from Jan. 13. The following day marks the 11th anniversary of autocrat President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali leaving the country.
Tunisian authorities are struggling to contain the spread of the coronavirus and, at the same time, growing frustration with political uncertainty in the country after President Kais Saied fired his premier and suspended the parliament last July.
Critics dubbed the move a coup, through Saied said he acted to save the country from mismanagement and corruption in earlier administrations.
Saied rescinded a national holiday marking the start of the 2011 uprising, and decreed it would be celebrated on Dec. 17, instead. That’s the day when a fruit seller in 2010 set himself ablaze, sparking the uprising.
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