Statement on Tunisia

13 January 2011

The developments in Tunisia, where ongoing public demonstrations are being violently repressed causing numerous deaths, have been the subject of great concern to the Socialist International.

The crisis, which started in the town of Sidi-Bouzid where Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire after the confiscation of his vegetable stand, has spread throughout the country building on the frustrations of a large part of the population suffering from unemployment, high food prices, a sense of powerlessness, and a growing divide between rich and poor, in a framework of social and political marginalization and exclusion.

The situation in Tunisia urgently needs to be redressed, starting with an end to the violence against demonstrators, the release of all those detained, and the immediate opening of the way for change, securing the political participation of all citizens to connect them to the institutions of a much needed open, democratic and modern state.

The SI calls on the government of Tunisia to act immediately to respond in a constructive and positive manner to the demands of the people in the streets for freedoms, opportunities and empowerment, and to seize this moment to lay the foundations of a more inclusive and fair society for all Tunisians.

The Socialist International stands ready to collaborate with all the political and social forces of Tunisia in this endeavour.