More than 930 people have been arrested during Tunisia’s social unrest fueled by unemployment, corruption and austerity measures in the 2018 budget, the interior ministry said Monday.
The protest movement began in January with sporadic demonstrations in several cities before turning into night riots on January 8, 2018, where one demonstrator died that night in circumstances that remain unclear.
But since January 11, only some of the protest movements have been recorded in some respects.
“In total, there are 937 people under pre-trial detention,” Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Khalifa al-Shaibani said on suspicion of acts of violence, theft or vandalism.
Forty-one youths aged between 13 and 19 were arrested on Sunday, he said.
Some of the incidents took place on Sunday night in the suburbs of the capital, especially in the Hishar and Karam roundabout where youths set fire to rubber tires, local media reported.
Last week, 106 security personnel were injured in clashes with protesters, mostly minors, throwing stones and Molotov cocktail bottles at the security forces and firing tear gas.
It was not possible to obtain figures on possible injuries among demonstrators.
The authorities have not yet released a forensic report on the demonstrator who died on 8 January in Tabarba, west of the capital.
The health minister said the report would be issued last Thursday “at the latest.”
His family says he was killed after he was run over by a security vehicle and his body had the effects of the car’s wheels.
An investigation into the death was opened at the Manouba court near the capital. Court spokesman Sami Samadhi said he could not disclose the results of the autopsy before the investigation was over.
The protest movement erupted after the adoption of the budget of 2018, which increased taxes, which affects the already deteriorating purchasing power due to high inflation.
The protest is fueled by a 15 percent rise in unemployment, with a 2 percent growth rate.
After seven years of “revolution of freedom and dignity”, the dictatorship and corruption, Tunisia suffers financial difficulties, especially after the attacks of 2015, which affected the important tourism sector.
In 2016, Tunisia received a new loan of 2.4 billion euros over four years from the International Monetary Fund, and pledged to reduce the public deficit and implement economic reforms.