Tunisia eases week-old curfew


Tunisia’s interim government eased a curfew a week after imposing it to curb protests. The curfew will now run from midnight until 4 a.m., the official news agency TAP said, quoting a statement from the defence and interior ministries. The week-old curfew had previously lasted from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The Arab world’s tide of unrest began in Tunisia and violent protests broke out again earlier this month over concerns the government might renege on its commitment to democracy after the ousting of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in January, Reuters reports.

Protesters threw stones at police and set cars ablaze in Tunis on May 5 after the former interior minister warned that Ben Ali loyalists might stage a coup if Islamists won elections scheduled in July. Security forces responded with shots fired in the air and tear gas.

In an attempt to try to quell the protests, the government fired former minister Farhat Rajhi from his post as head of the state-sponsored High Commission on Human Rights and Fundamental Liberties.