News24

Tunisia drops case at heart of protests

2011-04-19 16:02

Tunis - A Tunisian court has dropped charges against a policewoman whose dispute with a fruit vendor sparked a chain of events that unleashed uprisings around the Arab world.

The state news agency TAP says charges were dropped against Sedia Hamdi after the vendor's family withdrew its original complaint.

Hamdi was accused of slapping vendor Mohamed Bouazizi in December in the provincial town of Sidi Bouzid. Bouazizi's wares were confiscated on the ground that he didn't have a permit.

Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest. That prompted street demonstrations in Sidi Bouzid against government repression and corruption. The protests spread around the country and a month later forced the longtime president to flee.

Pro-democracy protests have since erupted in several Arab countries.