Tunisia killings 'must be prosecuted'

2011-03-01 12:30
Tunis - Human rights group Amnesty International has called on Tunisia’s interim government to prosecute those responsible for unlawful killings during the street protests that toppled president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

The United Nations estimates 147 people died during the revolt - which led to similar street protests across the Arab world - and a further 78 people in prison incidents linked to the December/January uprising.

"The security forces acted with reckless disregard for human life in all too many cases," said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa programme.

"The new government must ensure that killings and serious allegations of abuse by the security forces are fully and independently investigated without delay, and that those responsible are held to account."

Amnesty said it had researched cases in which Tunisian security forces had shot people in the back, and evidence that rooftop snipers had shot to kill by hitting people in the head and chest with live rounds.

Tunisia's caretaker government has been the target of further protests in recent days over its ties to the Ben Ali government, but has promised to prepare for elections to be held by mid-July.

Interim Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, who served in the same role under Ben Ali, and two other ministers have resigned since Sunday after five people died in clashes between security forces and protesters.

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