On Wednesday, 19 January 2022, a Tunisian man died in hospital from injuries he sustained by police forces during the protests that swept the country last week against President Kais Saied’s assumption of extra powers.
Local activists identified the man as Ridha Bouziane, in what would be the first death from protests since President Saied issues a decree strengthening presidential powers and suspending the Parliament on July 25.
“Ridha Bouziane, who took part in the January 14 protest, died in a hospital in the capital after suffering serious injuries as a result of the excessive violence by police in the demonstration,” the sources added.
Samir Dilou and Samir Ben Amor, lawyers for arrested protesters, also said Bouziane died due to police violence, though no more specifics were given.
Several Tunisian independent rights groups have also complained about violent police behaviour at the weekend protest.
More than twenty non-governmental organisations have condemned the violence, describing the behaviour of the police as “barbaric repression”.
As the country marks 11 years since late dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled into exile, police deployed heavily in central Tunis to counter-rallies protesting against President Kais Saied’s July power grab.