SFAX, Tunisia

Thousands of Tunisians in the Sfax city of southern Tunisia gathered on Sunday to protest against the arrest of two trade unionists and the country’s economic deteriorating situation. 

During the protest, held upon the call of Tunisia’s General Labour Union, the protesters raised slogans demanding independent judiciary and called for the release of two trade unionists. 

“We want a just and fair judiciary far from political bargains.” said Noureddine Taboubi, the chairman of the General Labour Union, during the protest. 

The Union has organized a number of strikes and protests in Sfax following the arrest of the two trade unionists on April 6. 

Their arrest took place after a complaint by lawmaker Mohamed al-Afas from Al-Karama (Dignity) Coalition who accused them of assaulting him in March. 

Taboubi threatened during the protest to move the protests to the capital’s Bardo square near the Tunisian parliament. 

On Thursday, Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh warned against the collapse of the country’s economy as Tunisia’s unemployment rate is rising amid coronavirus outbreak.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara. 

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