Ghosts of the Revolution

Among the dead in Tunisia’s revolution were widely hated police officers. Their families want investigations to clear up the mystery around their deaths, but much remains in the dark.

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Ghosts of the Revolution

The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia—the uprising sparked by the self-immolation of the market trader Mohamed Bouazizi in December 2010—left more than 300 people dead. Most of those killed during the December-January street clashes, which led ultimately to the ousting of President Zine Ben Ali, were protestors, but among the dead were a number of security officers, including seven police officers and three national guardsmen, who were reviled by protestors as agents of the regime.

The official investigation by the new government into the Jasmine Revolution deaths took over a year, and laid the blame largely on the former president, who gave orders to crush the insurgency with violence, before himself fleeing the country. Accusations were made that snipers continued to spread terror after Ben Ali’s flight. But obscurity, speculation, and propaganda—from all sides—surrounds many reports. A lack of protection for witnesses was blamed for the slowness in conducting the official investigation, and in the case of the dead security officers, three years on, no clear verdicts had been reached.

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