Tunisians March At Capital : Hundreds protest new amnesty offer
Tunisians March At Capital : Hundreds protest new amnesty offer

Tunisians March At Capital : Hundreds protest new amnesty offer

Hundreds of Tunisians marched in the capital Tunis on Saturday to protest a proposed law giving amnesty to businessmen accused of corruption during the rule of ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.

Critics say the bill is an attempt to whitewash the crimes of the old regime.

Charfeddine Kerrel, head of the We Won’t Pardon organization, said he feared the law was only the beginning of returning to dictatorship.

“It is shameful for us to reconcile with the corrupt,” he said.

A nationalist party, Nida Tunis, gained power in an election last fall and rules in alliance with the Islamist Ennahda party. Both support the proposal.

Police had originally banned Saturday’s demonstration, citing threats of terrorist attacks, but leftist and liberal parties as well as civic groups went forward with the march.

“[The proposal] is unfair and unconstitutional,” Sami Tahri, an official with the Union for Tunisian Workers, said at the protest. “It doesn’t fight corruption, it encourages it.”

Hundreds of police officers guarded the demonstration route along the city’s Bourguiba Avenue, where more than four years ago protesters took down dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Under Ben Ali, a few families dominated the economy, and kickbacks and corruption were rife.

Immediately after the revolution, cases were leveled against a number of businessmen. The new government argues those cases have kept business leaders from reinvesting in the country’s economy.


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