Police Violently Disperse Peaceful Demonstrators, Journalists

A demonstrator on the ground following a police assault as demonstrators tried to gather in front of the National Theater on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in downtown Tunis on September 1, 2021. Photo by Chahd Lina Belhadj.

On September 1, police violently dispersed a peaceful demonstration in downtown Tunis, punching, shoving, and using pepper spray against demonstrators as well as journalists who were there covering the event. Aside from some incidents in front of Parliament on July 26, Wednesday’s police repression was the first documented use of police violence against peaceful demonstrators since President Kais Saied suspended parliament and dismissed the government on July 25. However, many of the activists who participated in Wednesday’s demonstration have long been familiar with police repression of peaceful demonstrations and protests going back to at least October 2020

Demonstrators hold stencils of assassinated politicians Mohamed Brahmi (L) and Chokri Belaid at a demonstration in Tunis on September 1, 2021. Photo by Chahd Lina Belhadj.

This article was produced as part of a reporting partnership between Meshkal and Nawaat. To read the full report, click here.

Fadil Aliriza contributed to this report.