Saturday, 22 January 2011

Tunisian police join protests

HUNDREDS of Tunisian police officers have joined public protests against the interim government in the capital Tunis days after a historic revolution ousted the country's president, reports Press TV.

"The police protesters were holding banners demanding the trial of officials linked to the regime of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

"The police are a people's party," some officers chanted.

"We no longer want to be a tool for the repression of the people by the authorities," media quoted one policeman as saying.

Reports say the security forces have so far shown restraint towards protesters.

On Friday, thousands of protesters rallied outside government buildings calling for the dismissal of members of the old regime still in office.

This comes as the country is observing a second day of national mourning for the victims of its revolution. Flags across the country flew at half-mast.

The General Tunisian Workers' Union (UGTT), which played a key role in the protests, has rejected the interim government, over the presence of ministers linked to Ben Ali.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannoushi has promised to step down after the general elections due in six months.

Ghannoushi also says that all undemocratic laws will be scrapped during the transition.

Ben Ali's 23-year dictatorship, which was marred by repeated human rights violations and torture, ended earlier this month after weeks of street protests.