Tunisia: Nahda Condemns Repression of Protesters, Violation of Mosque Sanctity

Tunisia: Nahda Condemns Repression of Protesters, Violation of Mosque Sanctity

 In the Name of God, Most Beneficent Most Merciful

Over the last few days, youth groups on facebook have been mobilising for a third sit-in at the Kasba on Friday 15th of July to protest at the government’s policies. However, security forces intervened to prevent them from reaching the place for the sit-in, using repression methods familiar from the deposed president’s era. Even the protesters’ taking refuge in the adjacent Kasba mosque was in vain, as it was attacked with tear-gas bombs and broken into, violating its sanctity with their boots, breaking its doors and windows, beating the young and elderly, scattering the mosque furniture, arresting some and injuring others, and causing chaos and terror in the mosque.

In view of the above atrocities, an-Nahdha Movement:

1.  Strongly defends the right of Tunisian women and men to freedom of expression and peaceful protest and gathering as the most important gains of the revolution for which much blood was shed and many sacrifices made.

2. Strongly condemns the aggression of protesters and worshippers and arrest of a large number of citizens without even following legal procedures.

3. Denounces the violation of the sanctity of the mosque and worshippers, including the beseiging of worshippers and use of tear-gas against them, then the breaking into the mosque, in a dangerous contravention of all conventions and customs.

4. Condemns the police’s beating and arrest of journalists during the latter’s performance of their duty, and considers it a violation of the citizens’ right to a free press.

5. Holds the interim government responsible for the above incidents and calls upon it to respect the people’s right to freedom of expression and peaceful protest and to put an end to all violations of individual and public freedoms and of the sanctity of mosques.

6. Calls on it to release all those arrested, open an independent inquiry into the above events, and bring those responsible for attacks on citizens and the mosque to account.

7. Calls on all Tunisians to stand firm against such incidents and to warn against their danger and against any plots to circumvent the revolution.

Rached Ghannouchi
Chairman of an-Nahdha Party
16 July 2011