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Tunisia: Police Clash with Jobless Protestors in Radès

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

On April 13, 2012, police clashed with a group of young protestors from Cité El Mallaha in the port of Radès, just south of the capital Tunis and considered to be a suburb of it. The clashes started that night, a Friday, and continued into the following week. The protesters were staging a sit-in, demanding a share of some jobs which had been recently created in Radès port, near Cité El Mallaha.

The police fired tear gas at the protestors, dispersing them. They then chased them, even onto rooftops. Some protestors were detained, which led to further protests and clashes.

These clashes come just a few days after similar clashes over jobs erupted [ar] in the southern city of Moularès, and police violence against jobless protestors in Tunis.

Protesters in Cité El Mallaha in Radès. Photo from machhad.com (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Protesters in Cité El Mallaha in Radès. Photo from machhad.com (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).

Blogger Tounsiahourra tweeted [ar]:

@tounsiahourra: ليلة دامية في حي الملاحة رادس -ضواحي تونس- تم فك اعتصام الشباب بالقوة وباستعمال الغاز مما تسبب في حالات اختناق المتساكنين داخل بيوتهم ‎‪#Rades‬‏
@tounsiahourra: A bloody night in Cité El Mallaha in Radès, a suburb of Tunis. The sit-in was broken up by force and by using tear gas which suffocated some residents inside their homes ‎‪#Rades

She added [ar]:

@tounsiahourra: سهام بن سدرين تطالب بتحقيق في قمع المعتصمين في حي الملاحة واقتحام بيوت المواطنين في الحي من قبل عناصر الأمن واستعمالهم العنف ضدهم ‎
@tounsiahourra: Sihem Ben Sidrine [human rights activist] demands an investigation into the repression of the protestors in Cité El Mallaha, as well as how police broke into the homes of citizens in the neighbourhood, and used violence against them

The following video from TunisByNightt shows police invading the streets of Cité El Mallaha in Radès:

The protestors reacted by pelting security forces with stones and Molotov cocktails. And blogger Haykel tweeted:

@Haykel7: markez ecchorta fel Maléha #Rades totalement brûlé hier #tunisie #tngov

@Haykel7: The police station in El Mallaha, #Rades was completely burned yesterday #tunisie #tngov

Twitter user Narjess expressed her fear about the increase in clashes between protesters and police:

@NJESSREB: La question qui se pose:vont-il prolonger l'état d urgence qui prend fin le 30 avril? #OmLaarayes #Rades #1Mai #Tourisme #Tunisie

@NJESSREB: We may well ask: will they [the government] extend the state of emergency which ends on April 30?

Media blackout

Blogger Wessim tweeted [ar]:

@Wessimsara: تعتيم على التلفزة التونسية حول أحداث حي الملاحة برادس
@Wessimsara: Media blackout by Tunisian national television of the incidents in Cité El Mallaha, Radès

Tounsiahourra criticized the media blackout [ar]:

@tounsiahourra: وفيما الغاز المسيل يغطي حي الملاحة برادس , تختار النشرة الاخبارية الجهوية لقناة تونس أن تبدأ بخبر عن موسم الحج واتصال مع وزير الشؤون الدينية
@tounsiahourra: While tear gas covers Cité El Mallaha in Radès, the regional news bulletin of Tunisia TV chooses to start with news of the Hajj season and a conversation with the Minister of Religious Affairs

Med Salah M'Barek tweeted:

@MidoxTheGeek:#Radès est à 10~15 km du siège de #TTN et aucune équipe n'a été envoyée pour couvrir les évènements !!!

@MidoxTheGeek: #Rades is 10-15km from the headquarters of #TTN [Tunisia's national TV] and no crew was sent to cover the events!!!

Official media openness

Tunisia's television channels may have ignored the events, but the government didn't. On Twitter Global Voices Advocacy Director Sami Ben Gharbia linked to photos published on Facebook by the Tunisian Interior Ministry.

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

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