Tunisia

EU urges probe into Tunisia riots death

Reuters

The European Union has asked authorities in Tunisia to investigate the recent riots and provide further information about deaths. At least 35 people have been killed in riots over the last three days, according to a human rights group.

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Police put a stop to a demonstration by artists and opponents of the government in the centre of Tunis on Tuesday. The demonstration was a protest against what they said was excessive force used by security forces in crushing protests.

Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has pledged that his government will create 300,000 new jobs on top of 50,000 jobs already promised. He has also called a national conference on unemployment for February.

Radhia Nasraoui, Tunisians Against Torture

The International Federation of Human Rights Leagues reports that at least 35 people have died in the unrest.

On Monday, Ben Ali described the riots as "acts of terrorism" perpetrated by a "gang of thugs".

“Ben Ali always says that all Tunisians are satisfied with his policy, but that there is a minority of terrorists or extremists who have links with western countries,” says Radia

Maja Kocijancic, Brussels

Nasaraoui, the chairman of the Tunisian Association against Torture. “But the reasons for this revolt are poverty, corruption, unemployment and also there is no liberty in Tunisia.”

The EU and France have joined the US in condemning the violence. Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, has called for restraint in the use of force.

The EU is aiming to strengthen bilateral ties with Tunisia, says Maja Kocijancic, spokesperson of the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy.

“This requires increased commitment from both partners on all issues in particular in the area of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Kocijancic says.

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