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Tunisia prostitutes petition parliament to return to work

A group of Tunisian prostitutes demanded Tuesday to be allowed back to work, 18 months after their brothel in the resort town of Sousse was attacked by hardline Salafists and closed down. A delegation handed deputy parliament speaker Meherzia Laabidi, a woman, a petition signed by 120 prostitutes calling for their brothel in the popular coastal resort to be allowed to reopen.

Tunisia lifts emergency rule in force since 2011 uprising

Tunisia's president has lifted a state of emergency in force since the 2011 uprising that ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, his office said Thursday, despite a string of recent jihadist attacks. The country has been rocked by sporadic violence since the January 2011 revolution, which ignited the Arab Spring across North Africa and the Middle East. "The president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Moncef Marzouki, issued a decree lifting the state of emergency in the whole country from Wednesday, March 5, 2014," his office said.

Tunisia ex-minister freed from jail on health grounds

A Tunisian court ordered Tuesday the release from prison of Ridha Grira, the last defence minister under ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who is suffering from cancer. But deputy prosecutor Soufiane Sliti said Grira was still being investigated for corruption. Grira had been in jail since September 2011 for corruption cases linked to the Ben Ali regime which was overthrown in a popular uprising that year. The Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights group had called for his release in August due to his poor health.

Tunisia's PM warns difficult economic situation, pledges austerity

TUNIS, Tunisia - Tunisia' new prime minister delivered a sobering assessment of the country's economy and warned of future belt tightening that may include cuts to subsidies. Since overthrowing its dictator three years ago, Tunisia's economy has suffered low growth rates and high inflation, leaving many frustrated at the lack of progress. "The situation is more difficult than we imagined, especially on the financial level," said Mehdi Jomaa in a televised address late Monday, a month after his new government was put in place.

World Bank announces $1.2B package to support Tunisian economic reforms

TUNIS, Tunisia - The World Bank announced Friday a $1.2 billion package to support Tunisia's economic reforms and stumbling economy. The much needed cash came on the heels of the announcement a month ago by the International Monetary Fund that a long-delayed $500 million in funding had been released following the passing of a new post-revolutionary constitution. The World Bank program involves $750 million to support government reforms to promote growth and create employment. Another $300 million is earmarked for decentralization projects to aid the impoverished interior.

World Bank unveils $1.2 bn Tunisia support programme

The World Bank on Friday announced a $1.2 billion programme to support economic and political reform in Tunisia after the adoption last month of a new constitution. "The financing planned for 2014 would include $750 million in support of government reforms to level the economic playing field and promote growth and job creation, while increasing accountability in the delivery of services to citizens," the bank said.

Jobless protesters clash with police in Tunisia mining town

Clashes erupted Thursday between Tunisian police and jobless protesters, in the latest outbreak of social unrest in the neglected but resources-rich central Gafsa region, an AFP journalist reported. The protesters placed burning tyres in the streets of Metlaoui, around 350 kilometres (220 miles) south of Tunis, and hurled rocks at the police who fired tear gas in response. On Wednesday night, demonstrators set fire to the local office of Tunisia's main Islamist party Ennahda, and also partially damaged a court building, while on Tuesday night they torched a police post.

Tunisian pardoned for Mohammed caricature to stay in jail

A Tunisian jailed for posting caricatures of Prophet Mohammed online is to remain in prison despite a presidential pardon, pending a separate trial for "embezzlement", his lawyer said Thursday. "I contacted the judge investigating the case at the court in Mahdia who confirmed the embezzlement charges relating to when Jabeur (Mejri) worked for the SNCFT (Tunisian railways)," Ahmed Mselmi told AFP. The judge issued a warrant for him to remain in detention on January 9, the lawyer added, even though the case dates back to "well before Jabbeur's imprisonment" in March 2012.

Tunisian pardoned for Mohammed caricature to stay in jail

A Tunisian jailed for posting caricatures of Prophet Mohammed online is to remain in prison despite a presidential pardon, pending a separate trial for "embezzlement", his lawyer said Thursday. "I contacted the judge investigating the case at the court in Mahdia who confirmed the embezzlement charges relating to when Jabeur (Mejri) worked for the SNCFT (Tunisian railways)," Ahmed Mselmi told AFP. The judge issued a warrant for him to remain in detention on January 9, the lawyer added, even though the case dates back to "well before Jabbeur's imprisonment" in March 2012.

Tunisian pardoned for Mohammed caricature to stay in jail

A Tunisian jailed for posting caricatures of Prophet Mohammed online is to remain in prison despite a presidential pardon, pending a separate trial for "embezzlement", his lawyer said Thursday. "I contacted the judge investigating the case at the court in Mahdia who confirmed the embezzlement charges relating to when Jabeur (Mejri) worked for the SNCFT (Tunisian railways)," Ahmed Mselmi told AFP. The judge issued a warrant for him to remain in detention on January 9, the lawyer added, even though the case dates back to "well before Jabbeur's imprisonment" in March 2012.
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