January 13, 2011

Citizens of western countries killed in Tunisia as Ben Ali dismisses a general

    Thursday, January 13, 2011   No comments

As the number of people killed by Ben Ali’s security forces rises, victims’ family have reported that some of the fallen are citizens of European nations.

The French Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that one of the victims killed in the central Tunisian town of Douz during Wednesday clashes was a dual French-Tunisian citizen. "We are continuing to investigate to confirm this fact, and his death,” Radio France Internationale cited the ministry.

Switzerland also said one of its citizens who has also Tunisian nationality was killed in Wednesday clashes in the north of Tunisia, Daar Chaabane.

"The Foreign Affairs Department (DFAE) confirms the death of a citizen with double-nationality in Tunisia. The embassy of Switzerland in Tunis is in contact with her close ones," the ministry said in a statement to AFP.

In a dramatic development, the Tunisian president was reported to have quietly dismissed his top military general, Rachid Ammar. This action may have been triggered by the latter’s refusal to use lethal force against demonstrators. In fact, it was reported that military officers aimed their guns at police officers who were shooting at protesters in the city of Raggab, state of Sidi Bouzid. It is believed that Rachid Ammar was replaced by the head of the military intelligence, Ahmed Chebir.

The number of people shot dead by security forces, up until now, has surpassed 66. Such a large number of civilian deaths could be ground for legal actions against current government officials, police officers, and any individual found guilty of ordering or committing these murders. In addition to UN organs responsible for documenting and taking actions against people who commit crimes against civilians, the International Criminal Court (ICC, ArabicC) too, provides a new path to pursue violators.



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