Sfax, Tunisia, Aug 23, 2012 (AFP) -
Sfax, Tunisia, Aug 23, 2012 (AFP) –
Around 60 demonstrators on Thursday attacked a police station in the central Sfax region following a conflict with representatives of the ruling Islamist party Ennahda, police said.
The demonstrators demanded the release of three people arrested following a clash on Wednesday with Ennahda members accused of trying to take control of a local association, a police official said.
They burned a car and ransacked a police station before officers intervened, dispersing the protesters with the use of tear gas.
A growing number of demonstrations have taken place this summer in protest at the government’s failure to tackle unemployment, water and electricity cuts and human rights issues.
The country has also seen a series of incidents linked to the ultra-conservative Muslim Salafists in Tunisia over the past 14 months.
Ennahda has come under fire from human rights activists for drafting a law, yet to be debated in parliament, that could see anyone convicted of violating sacred values jailed for up to two years.
Many also regard this as an attempt to curb freedom of expression and creativity, while the opposition and civil society groups have repeatedly criticised the government for failing to restrain the Salafists who have succeeded in disrupting a string of cultural events deemed un-Islamic.