Tunisians rally to demand the release of activist Rania Amdouni | Tunisia News
Protesters gather in central Tunis to demand “the freedom of Amdouni” and other Tunisians arrested in recent protests.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in the Tunisian capital to demand the release of a gay rights and democracy activist sentenced to prison for insulting police officers.
Rania Amdouni, member of the human rights group Damj, Tunisian Association for Justice and Equality was arrested last weekend in Tunis. The 26-year-old has been involved in protests calling for social and economic justice and against police abuse over the past two months.
Activists said Amdouni has been increasingly targeted since February as she became a visible part of daily protests. His photo has been posted multiple times on social media, especially by police unions, along with degrading comments and personal information, including his address, according to reports.
On Thursday, Amdouni’s lawyer, Amine Hadiji, said she was sentenced to six months in prison for insulting police officers as she tried to press charges of police intimidation.
Protesters gathered on the historic Habib Bourguiba Avenue in central Tunis on Saturday to demand “the freedom of Amdouni” and other Tunisians arrested during recent protests.
They carried photos of Amdouni and signs saying “never back down, never give up the resistance” and “freedom is a must”.
“Rania is one of us and the sentence against her is unfair,” a young demonstrator who gave only her first name, Balqis, told AFP news agency.
Protester Emna Sahli said protesters wanted the release of all Tunisians arrested during protests over the past two months.
“A large number of people have been arrested. This never happened even during the dictatorship, ”Sahli said, referring to the reign of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Ben Ali was removed from his post 10 years ago during the Arab Spring uprising that began in Tunisia before spreading to other countries in the region, where leaders were also neglected.
Tunisia has often been hailed as a rare achievement for its democratic transition, but its political system is still mired in feuds between the president, prime minister and parliament as the economy stagnates.
Demonstrators have been demonstrating in Tunisia since January 15, the day after the 10th anniversary of the revolution, calling among other things for social equality and access to employment.
More than 1,000 protesters have been arrested, according to human rights groups, and although some have been released, others remain in prison.