Interview with Sihem Bensedrine - "The EU is an Accomplice of this Criminal Regime"

News article, posted 01.22.2011, in:

The people's uprising in Tunisia is not just about the state of the economy, but also about civil rights and dignity, says Tunisian opposition activist Sihem Bensedrine in this interview with Reiner Wandler

Ms Bensedrine, Tunisia was considered the most peaceful and modern country in North Africa. Why are its young people suddenly so angry?

Sihem Bensedrine: We human rights and civil rights activists have been warning for years that President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's repressive policies would lead to this kind of violent outbreak. Unfortunately, no one listened to us. In Tunisia, it is not only the young people who have no rights; the citizens in general don't either. All attempts to portray Tunisia as a country where everything is going wonderfully are nothing but marketing. The revolt has torn the mask from the face of the regime.

How could the regime preserve this image for so long?

Bensedrine: The whole world stared entranced at North Africa and the only thing it saw was the threat of terrorism. The Tunisian regime exploited these fears and blew them out of all proportion in order to justify its repressive policies and garner support for them. Ben Ali used the so-called "anti-terror laws" to curb any kind of freedom at all.

[See accompanying link for full article.]