30 November 2012

Tunisia: PM Calls for Creation of Independent Investigation Commission Into Incidents of Siliana

Tunis — Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali called, on Thursday, the civil society to create an independent commission to investigate into the violent incidents that had taken place in Siliana, laying emphasis on the need to prosecute the perpetrators of these acts of violence "whether they are citizens or police officers."

"Causes of these incidents should be investigated and those who were behind them identified," Mr. Jebali said at a news conference held, on Thursday in Tunis, specifying the security forces had not prevented the peaceful general strike.

Violence erupted, he clarified, during the attack against the governorate seat by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails and continued by setting fire to police stations, delegations' seats and public revenues premises.

"We are aware that persons from Kef and other governorates went to Siliana to take part in this general strike," he said, adding that "this would not have disturbed us if the protests remained peaceful."

He accused "political parties and other sides who are hiding behind the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) to execute their agenda and sow chaos," adding that "they do not have enough courage to reveal themselves."

As regards resort to buckshots, Mr. Jebali admitted that there had been an excessive use of force, asserting that those who had made an excessive use of arms will be prosecuted.

However, he considered that the police officers had been forced to defend themselves and protect the State institutions against these life-threatening attacks.

As regards, removing the Siliana governor, the Prime Minister warned that "claiming the departure of the governor by using force undermines the State's symbolic and imposes the logic of violence and the fait-accompli policy."

"If it is proven that the governor failed to discharge his mission, he will be removed."

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