clearn.png
Friday January 15th, 2021 10:02PM

AP PHOTOS: Tunisia revolution victims plea for recognition

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Some lost a leg, some gaze out from permanently scarred faces, others live forever bound to a wheelchair. All these men were injured in Tunisia’s democratic uprising 10 years ago, and they are begging the government to recognize them as official victims of the revolution.

As Tunisia this week marks the 10th anniversary of the revolt that unleashed the Arab Spring, those injured in the tumult feel disappointed and marginalized.

Since mid-December, they have been holding a sit-in at the office of the Agency for the Revolutionary Martyrs and Wounded, demanding recognition. They voice their demands through megaphones, sit and share stories, or rest on mattresses on the floor.

Some have even tried to set themselves on fire, to emulate the street vendor whose self-immolation in desperation over poverty and police abuse sparked Tunisia’s revolt.

Rached El Arbi, now 30, has been paralyzed since being shot while protesting the autocratic regime of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was overthrown on Jan. 14, 2011. A photo of him hospitalized at the time went viral across the Arab world.

But now, instead of El Arbi supporting his family, they’re now supporting him. El Arbi was 20 when he was shot in the neck during a protest and had to undergo three complex operations. He said he was in a coma for four months before he started to recover.

His family wasn’t prepared for the huge medical costs. His mother said she has three other children, and for a year, “they had to be hungry, so Rachad could eat.”

Protester Hosni Kalaia set himself on fire during the uprising. Now 49, he lives with permanent scars on his face and missing fingers. His brother self-immolated in 2015 and died.

Walid Kasraoui lost a leg and has relied on crutches for a decade, but says he has no regrets.

“If I went back in time to the events of the revolution, I would participate again,” he says.

Families have pushed for years for official recognition of those who lost lives or limbs fighting for democracy, and for government financial support. An unofficial list released by the martyrs’ agency counts 129 people killed and 634 injured.

They hope for an official government list to be published on Thursday, the anniversary of the revolution, to guarantee the rights of victims. The government has long promised to formalize such a list after it verifies each case, but efforts have stalled amid other pressing problems.

Kasraoui is running out of patience and says he plans to seek asylum abroad if this list is not published in the next two days.

___

Mehdi El Arem and Bouazza ben Bouazz contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Heated debate as House considers impeachment
The debate is heated almost from the start as House sets up a vote to impeach President Donald Trump
10:56AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Trump on verge of 2nd impeachment after Capitol siege
President Donald Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time, with an afternoon vote expected in the House
10:55AM ( 21 minutes ago )
US won't observe Uganda's election as accreditations denied
The United States ambassador to Uganda says the embassy has canceled plans to observe the country's presidential election on Thursday
10:45AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Trump's Republican wall eroding ahead of impeachment vote
The wall of Republican support that has enabled President Donald Trump to weather a seemingly endless series of crises is beginning to erode
10:28AM ( 48 minutes ago )
The Latest: Putin orders expansion of vaccination effort
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has ordered his government to expand the vaccination effort
10:23AM ( 52 minutes ago )
The Latest: Dems say Trump message to mob was unmistakable
Democratic lawmakers have opened the historic impeachment effort in the House by saying that every moment Donald Trump is in the White House the nation is in danger
10:18AM ( 57 minutes ago )
AP National News
What to watch as House moves to impeach Trump for 2nd time
President Donald Trump is on the verge of becoming the first president to be impeached twice, as lawmakers move quickly to punish him over last week's deadly Capitol attack
8:28AM ( 2 hours ago )
Japan widens virus emergency to 7 more areas as cases surge
Japan is expanding a coronavirus state of emergency to seven more prefectures, affecting more than half the population as infections spread across the country
8:16AM ( 2 hours ago )
Japan widens virus emergency for 7 more areas as cases surge
Japan is expanding a coronavirus state of emergency for seven more prefectures, affecting more than half the population as infections spread across the country
6:41AM ( 4 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Estonia's PM resigns over corruption scandal in his party
Estonia’s prime minister has resigned over a corruption scandal in his Center Party that led to key party officials resigning overnight
10:25AM ( 50 minutes ago )
David Barclay, billionaire twin Telegraph owner, dies at 86
David Barclay, one of the billionaire identical twins whose business empire includes Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, has died aged 86
9:56AM ( 1 hour ago )
Rare Tintin comic book art set to sell for millions in Paris
Not even the coronavirus can stop intrepid reporter and comic book legend Tintin
9:54AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
The Latest: Heated debate as House considers impeachment
The debate is heated almost from the start as House sets up a vote to impeach President Donald Trump
10:56AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Trump on verge of 2nd impeachment after Capitol siege
President Donald Trump is on the verge of being impeached for a second time, with an afternoon vote expected in the House
10:55AM ( 21 minutes ago )
US won't observe Uganda's election as accreditations denied
The United States ambassador to Uganda says the embassy has canceled plans to observe the country's presidential election on Thursday
10:45AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Mark Shapiro gets 5-year extension as Blue Jays' CEO
Mark Shapiro has been given a five-year contract extension as the Toronto Blue Jays’ president and chief executive officer
10:43AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Ivanka Trump's global women's program halfway toward goal
Ivanka Trump's global women's development program is about halfway toward its goal of helping 50 million women in developing countries get ahead economically by 2025
10:37AM ( 39 minutes ago )