Connect with us

Foreign

Infos: Tunisians defy protest ban to demand release of president’s critics

People take part in a protest against president Kais Saied policies, in Tunis, Tunisia, Mar. 5, 2023. They demanded the release of opposition figures arrested in recent weeks   –   Copyright © africanews Hassene Dridi/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved. By Rédaction Africanews and AFP Last updated: 4 hours ago Tunisia Hundreds of Tunisians rallied

Published

on

Infos: Tunisians defy protest ban to demand release of president’s critics
People take part in a protest against president Kais Saied policies, in Tunis, Tunisia, Mar. 5, 2023. They demanded the release of opposition figures arrested in recent weeks   –  

Copyright © africanews

Hassene Dridi/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Tunisia

Hundreds of Tunisians rallied in Tunis Sunday (Mar. 5) in defiance of a protest ban.

They demanded the release of more than 20 prominent figures opposed to the president who were arrested in recent weeks. The personality included members the main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front (NSF).

Among the protestors NSF members, relatives of imprisoned public figures some of whom were locked behind bars under former ruler and ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

“The message that we are sending today is ‘No to fear’,” Lamine Bouazizi, a member of the National Salvation Front said.

“Tunisia belongs to its people and not to an opportunist who wants to set it on fire! He is following in the footsteps of Mussolini and Hitler, those two criminals who set their countries on fire! We will not allow a Hitler junior to destroy Tunisia!”

“This putschist [Editor’s note: President Kais Saied] has no ears, he does not listen to anyone!” said Ezzeddine Hazgui, a member of the National Salvation Front (NSF) whose son Jawhar Ben Mbarek was arrested.

 He is a dictator, who does not have the capacity to dictate, and he puts people in prison because he fears it and does not know that activists do not fear any prison!”

Hazgui, who was imprisoned under the dictatorship of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, attended the rally and denounced Saied in comments. 

Saied has accused those arrested of “terrorism” and causing recurrent food shortages as well as plotting against the state.

In February, the UN high commissioner for Human rights expressed “concern over the deepening crackdown against perceived political opponents and civil society in Tunisia, including through measures taken by the authorities that continue to undermine the independence of the judiciary.”

Contested leader

President Kais Saied sacked the government and froze parliament in a 2021 power grab and imposed changes to the country’s political system.

Denouncing Saied’s power grab as a “coup”, the protesters defied a ban on demonstrations imposed by Tunis authorities.

Initially dozens gathered by a key bus and tramway station in central Tunis before charging police barricades to then march towards Habib Bourguiba Avenue, where the crowd soon swelled to more than 500, reporters said.

A policeman used a loudspeaker to urge demonstrators to move out of the iconic avenue — the site of repeated protests — and head towards the headquarters of Al Joumhouri party several kilometres away, saying: “Please, the march is banned”.

The NSF had called for the demonstration, which came a day after more than 3,000 joined a Tunis rally organised by the powerful UGTT trade union.

Tunisian Islamist opposition leader in court on incitement charges

01:06

    Tunisian Islamist opposition leader in court on incitement charges

    Tunisia opposition condemns 'violent', 'baseless' string of arrests

    01:10

      Tunisia opposition condemns ‘violent’, ‘baseless’ string of arrests

      Tunisia arrests more critics of President Saied

        Tunisia arrests more critics of President Saied

        Tunisia announces measures to 'improve' life of foreign nationals

        00:59

          Tunisia announces measures to ‘improve’ life of foreign nationals

          Malian migrants prepare to flee Tunisia after president's crackdown

          01:40

            Malian migrants prepare to flee Tunisia after president’s crackdown

            Tunisians take part in UGTT labour union anti-government rally

            01:00

              Tunisians take part in UGTT labour union anti-government rally

              View more

              Continue Reading
              Click to comment

              Leave a Reply

              Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

              Foreign

              Infos: UN and Amnesty international urge Ugandan president to reject anti-LGBTQ law

              Ugandans take part in the 3rd Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender …   –   Copyright © africanews Rebecca Vassie/AP By Rédaction Africanews with AFP Last updated: 1 hour ago Uganda The United Nations and the NGO Amnesty International on Wednesday called on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to reject an anti-homosexuality law passed by parliament Tuesday

              Published

              on

              Infos: UN and Amnesty international urge Ugandan president to reject anti-LGBTQ law
              Ugandans take part in the 3rd Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender …   –  

              Copyright © africanews

              Rebecca Vassie/AP

              Uganda

              The United Nations and the NGO Amnesty International on Wednesday called on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to reject an anti-homosexuality law passed by parliament Tuesday night, calling it “appalling.

              The Ugandan parliament voted in a turbulent session on Tuesday night to pass a law that would impose severe penalties on people who engage in homosexual relations.

              MPs significantly amended the original text, which provided for up to 10 years in prison for anyone engaging in homosexual acts or claiming to be LGBTQ+, in a country where homosexuality was already illegal.

              The extent of the new penalties under the law was not immediately known.

              The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, called on Museveni on Wednesday not to enact the law.

              “The passage of this discriminatory text -probably the worst of its kind in the world– is a deeply troubling development,” he said in a statement.

              “If signed into law by the president, (this law) will make lesbians, gays and bisexuals criminals in Uganda simply by existing (…). It could give carte blanche to the systematic violation of almost all their human rights,” he added.

              This ambiguous, vaguely worded law criminalizes even those who “promote” homosexuality,” Tigere Chagutah, Amnesty’s director for East and Southern Africa, said in a statement.

              Fox Odoi-Oywelowo, an elected member of the National Resistance Movement, President Museveni’s party, spoke out against the text. The MP told AFP that under the final version of the legislation, offenders would face life imprisonment or even the death penalty for “aggravated” offences.

              Amnesty said Museveni should “urgently veto this appalling law”, adding that it would “institutionalize discrimination, hatred and prejudice” against the LGBTQ+ community.

              Debates on the bill in parliament have been peppered with homophobic language, with Museveni himself referring to homosexuals as “deviant” people last week.

              However, the 78-year-old leader has often said that the issue is not a priority for him and that he prefers to maintain good relations with his Western donors and investors.

              – “Strict anti-homosexuality legislation” –

              Uganda has strict anti-homosexuality legislation – a legacy of colonial laws – but since independence from the United Kingdom in 1962, there have been no prosecutions for consensual homosexual acts.

              Intolerance of homosexuality is common in Uganda, where the passage of the law was welcomed by some.

              “We are very happy as citizens of Uganda. Culturally we don’t accept…homosexuality, lesbianism, LGBTQ. We can’t,” Abdu Mukasa, a 54-year-old resident, told AFP. “We were created by God. God created man and woman. And we can’t accept one sex to go with the same sex,” he added.

              In 2014, a Ugandan court blocked a bill, approved by MPs and signed by President Museveni, to punish homosexual relations with life imprisonment.

              The bill caused an uproar beyond Uganda’s borders, with some wealthy countries suspending aid after it was introduced in parliament.

              Last week, police announced the arrest of six men for “practicing homosexuality” in Jinja (south). Six more men were arrested on the same charge on Sunday, police said.

              Uganda's parliament debates controversial anti-homosexuality law

                Uganda’s parliament debates controversial anti-homosexuality law

                Uganda: Museveni calls gay people 'deviants' as anti-LGBT bill advances

                01:18

                  Uganda: Museveni calls gay people ‘deviants’ as anti-LGBT bill advances

                  The US promises to “stand up” for LGBTQ+ rights in Kenya

                    The US promises to “stand up” for LGBTQ+ rights in Kenya

                    LGBT activists disappointed at Uganda's new anti-gay law

                    02:56

                      LGBT activists disappointed at Uganda’s new anti-gay law

                      Uganda's parliament passes tough anti-gay bill

                      00:55

                        Uganda’s parliament passes tough anti-gay bill

                        View more

                        Continue Reading

                        Foreign

                        Infos: Marburg virus kills 5 in Tanzania

                        FILE- In this Saturday Nov. 8, 2014 file photo, Ebola health care workers bury the body …   –   Copyright © africanews Abbas Dulleh/AP By Rédaction Africanews with AP Last updated: 2 hours ago Tanzania Tanzania’s health ministry on Tuesday confirmed that five people have died and three others are being treated for the Ebola-like Marburg

                        Published

                        on

                        Infos: Marburg virus kills 5 in Tanzania
                        FILE- In this Saturday Nov. 8, 2014 file photo, Ebola health care workers bury the body …   –  

                        Copyright © africanews

                        Abbas Dulleh/AP

                        Tanzania

                        Tanzania’s health ministry on Tuesday confirmed that five people have died and three others are being treated for the Ebola-like Marburg disease.

                        Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said the cases were identified in the western region of Kagera and the government had managed to control its spread to other regions.

                        Like Ebola, the Marburg virus originates in bats and spreads between people via close contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, or surfaces, like contaminated bed sheets. Without treatment, Marburg can be fatal in up to 88% of people.

                        Marburg outbreaks and individual cases have in the past been recorded in Angola, Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Ghana, according to the World Health Organization.

                        Kenya and Uganda are on high alert due to the recent cases in Tanzania.

                        WHO representative Zabulon Yoti, who spoke during the Tanzania health ministry press briefing, praised the government for what he called its swift response and transparency.

                        The acting director of the African Union’s public health agency, Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, tweeted that Africa CDC would deploy immediately to strengthen response and limit the spread of the disease.

                        The rare virus was first identified in 1967 after it caused simultaneous outbreaks of disease in laboratories in Marburg, Germany, and Belgrade, Serbia. Seven people died who were exposed to the virus while conducting research on monkeys.

                        There are no authorized vaccines or drugs to treat Marburg, but rehydration treatment to alleviate symptoms can improve the chances of survival.

                        Deadly Marburg Virus outbreak in Equatorial Guinea kills 9

                        00:36

                          Deadly Marburg Virus outbreak in Equatorial Guinea kills 9

                          Ghana declares end of Marburg virus outbreak - WHO

                            Ghana declares end of Marburg virus outbreak – WHO

                            Baby infected with Marburg virus dies in Ghana

                              Baby infected with Marburg virus dies in Ghana

                              Tanzania: Authorities investigate mysterious illness that killed five

                                Tanzania: Authorities investigate mysterious illness that killed five

                                Opposition figure returns from exile in Tanzania

                                  Opposition figure returns from exile in Tanzania

                                  Tanzania Approves $3.5 Billion Pipeline Project

                                  01:07

                                    Tanzania Approves $3.5 Billion Pipeline Project

                                    View more

                                    Continue Reading

                                    Foreign

                                    Infos: Uganda’s parliament passes tough anti-gay bill

                                    A Ugandan transgender woman who was recently attacked and currently being sheltered watches a TV screen showing the live broadcast of the session from the Parliament   –   Copyright © africanews STUART TIBAWESWA/AFP or licensors By Rédaction Africanews and AFP Last updated: 4 hours ago Uganda Uganda’s parliament on Tuesday passed sweeping anti-gay legislation which proposes

                                    Published

                                    on

                                    Infos: Uganda’s parliament passes tough anti-gay bill
                                    A Ugandan transgender woman who was recently attacked and currently being sheltered watches a TV screen showing the live broadcast of the session from the Parliament   –  

                                    Copyright © africanews

                                    STUART TIBAWESWA/AFP or licensors

                                    Uganda

                                    Uganda’s parliament on Tuesday passed sweeping anti-gay legislation which proposes tough new penalties for same-sex relationships following a highly charged and chaotic session.

                                    “The ayes have it,” parliamentary speaker Annet Anita Among said after a final vote, adding that the “bill passed in record time.”

                                    Uganda’s parliament was due to vote Tuesday on anti-gay legislation which proposes tough new penalties for same-sex relations in a country where homosexuality is already illegal.

                                    Under the proposed law, anyone in the conservative East African nation who engages in same-sex activity or who identifies publicly as LGBTQ could face up to 10 years in prison.

                                    “The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is ready and will be tabled (put) before parliament for a vote this afternoon,” said Robina Rwakoojo, chair of the legal and parliamentary affairs committee, which has been studying the legislation.

                                    The legislation enjoys broad public support in Uganda and reaction from civil society has been muted following years of erosion of civic space under President Yoweri Museveni’s increasingly authoritarian rule.

                                    Nevertheless, Museveni has consistently signalled he does not view the issue as a priority and would prefer to maintain good relations with Western donors and investors.

                                    Discussions about the bill in parliament have frequently been laced with homophobic rhetoric, with Museveni last week referring to gay people as “these deviants.”

                                    “Homosexuals are deviations from normal. Why? Is it by nature or nurture? We need to answer these questions,” the 78-year-old told lawmakers.

                                    “We need a medical opinion on that. We shall discuss it thoroughly,” he added, in a manoeuvre interpreted by analysts and foreign diplomats as a delaying tactic.

                                    “Museveni has historically taken into account the damage of the bill to Uganda’s geopolitics, particularly in terms of relations with the West, and in terms of donor funding,” said Kristof Titeca, an expert on East African affairs at the University of Antwerp.

                                    “His suggestion to ask for a medical opinion can be understood in this context: a way to put off what is a deeply contentious political issue,” Titeca said.

                                    On Saturday, Uganda’s attorney general Kiryowa Kiwanuka told the parliamentary committee scrutinising the bill that existing colonial-era laws “adequately provided for an offence”.

                                    – ‘Unconstitutional provisions’ –

                                    As parliamentary proceedings got under way, legislator Fox Odoi-Oywelowo, who belongs to Museveni’s National Resistance Movement party, urged lawmakers not to pass the legislation.

                                    The bill “contains provisions that are unconstitutional, reverses the gains registered in the fight against gender-based violence and criminalises individuals instead of conduct that contravenes legal provisions”, he said, as some MPs repeatedly tried to shout over him.

                                    “It was introduced during a time when anti-homosexual sentiments have been whipped up across the country and is not based on any evidence to show that incidents of homosexuality have increased and require additional legislative intervention,” he added.

                                    In recent months, conspiracy theories accusing shadowy international forces of promoting homosexuality have gained traction on social media in Uganda.

                                    Frank Mugisha, executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda, a leading gay rights organisation whose operations were suspended by the authorities last year, said earlier this month he had already been inundated with calls from LGBTQ people over the new bill.

                                    “Community members are living in fear,” he said.

                                    Last week, police said they had arrested six men for “practising homosexuality” in the southern lakeside town of Jinja.

                                    Another six men were arrested on the same charge on Sunday, according to police.

                                    Uganda is notorious for intolerance of homosexuality — which is criminalised under colonial-era laws.

                                    But since independence from Britain in 1962 there has never been a conviction for consensual same-sex activity.

                                    In 2014, Ugandan lawmakers passed a bill that called for life in prison for people caught having gay sex.

                                    The legislation sparked international condemnation, with some Western nations freezing or redirecting millions of dollars of government aid in response, before a court later struck down the law on a technicality.

                                    ***AFP***

                                    Ethiopia's parliament removes Tigray rebel party from terror list

                                      Ethiopia’s parliament removes Tigray rebel party from terror list

                                      Kenya: 83% increase in tourism revenues in 2022

                                        Kenya: 83% increase in tourism revenues in 2022

                                        Turkey seeks to enhance trade ties with Africa

                                        01:00

                                          Turkey seeks to enhance trade ties with Africa

                                          Uganda's parliament debates controversial anti-homosexuality law

                                            Uganda’s parliament debates controversial anti-homosexuality law

                                            Uganda: Museveni calls gay people 'deviants' as anti-LGBT bill advances

                                            01:18

                                              Uganda: Museveni calls gay people ‘deviants’ as anti-LGBT bill advances

                                              Ugandan leader’s son announces candidacy for president, before withdrawing tweet

                                                Ugandan leader’s son announces candidacy for president, before withdrawing tweet

                                                View more

                                                Continue Reading

                                                Trending

                                                0:00
                                                0:00