A state of emergency in crisis-ridden Tunisia
A demonstrator throws a rock at police, who deployed troops and tear gas to disperse protests in Tunis on Friday.
January 14th, 2011
12:46 PM ET

A state of emergency in crisis-ridden Tunisia

Tunisia's president - whose country has been embattled by weeks of street protests over poor living conditions and repression of rights - has dissolved the government and declared a state of emergency, state TV said Friday.

President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who announced concessions to meet some grievances the day before in a nationally televised TV address, made the moves in reaction to the instability in the North African country.

Officials said the reason for the emergency declaration is to protect Tunisians and their private property. People are not allowed on the street from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.

People in gatherings of three or more will be arrested or they will be fired on if they try to run away and can't be stopped.

Ben Ali also will call for parliamentary elections within six months. The government sacking comes days after the president dumped the interior minister and fired a couple of aides.

Earlier Friday, police, wielding batons and firing tear gas, dispersed demonstrators, a show of force that aggravated a peaceful gathering in the capital.

Security forces were seen brutally beating protesters, and the demonstrators fled amid the security show of force. Fires were seen in the center of Tunis and downtown, and smoke was coming from a couple of locations.

The unrest underscores concerns among Tunisians and in the international community that security forces have been badly overreacting to peaceful gatherings

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Filed under: Tunisia
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. myklds

    symptoms of dictatosship.

    January 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. astrology is magical

    this is where all the good tuna comes from

    January 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack


      January 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lady

      Ignorant it concerns a great nation and you re talking abt Tuna!!! How saddd, i better disappear than to read comments of illiterate ignorant as you....

      January 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lady

      " I applaud the courage and dignity of the Tunisian people," Obama said in a statement.
      "The United States stands with the entire international community in bearing witness to this brave and determined struggle for the universal rights that we must all uphold, and we will long remember the images of the Tunisian people seeking to make their voices heard.

      January 14, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      More right-wing bla-bla-bla from Barack Obama,but did he actually mean it?

      January 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Out to lunch

    try small pieces of apple in your tuna on your next sandwich,quite tasty.

    January 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Daniel

    What the Tunisians need to do is to try to get their economy in order and stop catering to the interests of NATO.

    January 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      I totally agree,Daniel. Good post.

      January 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Out to lunch

    Did someone blog catering?

    January 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary Johndro

      I might have but I don't know any more. This Barack Obama has got me all mixed up along with Hilary Clinton. Will this revolution work???

      January 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Out to lunch

    you are SASSY! how bout a lunch date.

    January 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Frenchpastry

    no revolution.. Evolution. And without the cowboy ghetto n.r.a. Values... N.r.a values defeated. Genius in action. Maybe american cowboys can mess this up in the name of family values... Blah blah blah blah...

    January 14, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Frank W

    It's remarkable to see natural revolutionin an Arab country- too bad we can't get this kind of spontaneous spark in other such emirates...maybe with a little more attention to covert ops and a little less military pressure? Most human problems of international concern can be resolved by a busboy with a silenced Glock...

    January 22, 2011 at 6:14 am | Report abuse |