0305 GMT March 08, 2021
The rally was held to mark the anniversary of the 2013 killing of a prominent activist and to protest against police abuses that demonstrators say have imperiled the freedoms won in the 2011 revolution, Reuters reported.
Riot police deployed cordons around the city center, stopping both cars and many people from entering the streets around Avenue Habib Bourguiba as thousands of people gathered, a Reuters witness said.
Unlike previous marches in the wave of street protests that have rippled across Tunisia in recent weeks, Saturday’s rally was backed by the Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT), the country’s most powerful political organization with a million members.
Protests, which began last month with clashes and rioting in deprived districts over inequality, have increasingly focused on the large number of arrests, and reports — denied by the Interior Ministry — of abuse of detainees.
A decade after Tunisia’s revolution, its democratic political system is in crisis, mired in endless squabbling between the president, prime minister and parliament while the economy stagnates.