Tunisian Court Sentences Former Minister, Officials To Up To 15 Years In Prison
Many Tunisians on Wednesday voiced dissatisfaction with the court ruling which sentenced Ben Ali’s interior minister and seven security chiefs to up to 15 years in prison over the killing of hundreds of Tunisian people during the Arab Spring in January 2011.
The former interior minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem was sentenced to 12 years in prison, being among the first officials of the former regime to be convicted for the killing of 300 people during the Jasmine revolution, which inspired many countries around the Arab world.
A military court in Kef also convicted ousted president Ben Ali to life in prison for the number of people who died in the revolution. Ben Ali has been in exile in Saudi Arabia since the revolution ended, and is unlikely to be extradited very soon.
14 people were acquitted, including the presidential security chief, for the killing of the protesters in the cities of Kasserine, Tala, Kairouan, and Tajrouine. Many of the security chiefs who were acquitted will also face an amount of charges which could still bring them in front of judges and have them convicted.
Many people in the courtroom reacted in anger over the verdict, as many of them were expected to see some justice for the death of their dear ones. Some of the people compared the sentences with what happened in Egypt and warned that their response to them will be “unpredictable.”11