Tunisia: ITUC condemns fresh violence against UGTT

Violent attacks staged yesterday on UGTT members and their head office in Tunis left dozens injured, including two deputy general secretaries, Hfaïdh Hfaïedh and Samir Cheffi. The Tunisian trade union centre’s headquarters also sustained damage.

"These repeated attacks against the UGTT, a leading force in the revolution and one that is continuing to fight for true democracy and social justice, are totally unacceptable," said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. "As Tunisians prepare to celebrate the second anniversary of their revolution on 14 December, the international trade union movement reaffirms its solidarity with the UGTT, a key player in the construction of a just and free Tunisia."

The trade unionists were attacked yesterday by organised groups as they prepared to set off from the UGTT headquarters for a peaceful march to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the murder of Farhat Hached, the historic leader of Tunisia’s national independence and trade union movements.

Yesterday’s violent attacks in Tunis follow on from those perpetrated last week in the Siliana region. A call made by the UGTT for a general strike to demand genuine measures to tackle unemployment in this disadvantaged region led to at least 252 people being injured by security forces, who shot a number of protesters in the face at close range.

Tunisian and foreign reporters were also injured in Siliana, in the latest in a series of ever growing attacks on journalists in Tunisia.