Protests over economy flare in Tunisia
Riots over Tunisia’s economy have flared in towns around the country, leaving one dead and posing an immediate challenge to the new prime minister and the country’s path to democracy. Crowds protested late on Friday in the capital Tunis outside the government finance buildings in the low-income neighbourhood of Ettaddamon over new taxes levied by the outgoing government described as necessary to fill yawning holes in the country’s budget.
The tax hikes were hastily suspended by the outgoing prime minister, but the decision failed to calm protesters. Police reported that local criminals took advantage and began looting stores and clashing with authorities. They were dispersed with tear gas, Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui said on Saturday. Nearly 50 people were arrested in clashes in suburbs of Tunis, Aroui said. Protesters also clashed with police in the upscale La Marsa area of Tunis when they tried to storm a police station.
In another clash, an 18-year-old man was killed and a customs agent injured in the town of Bouchebka on the Algerian border, Aroui said. He said an investigation is under way into what happened. The customs officer was taken to hospital in Tebessa in Algeria, Aroui said. “Security posts are targeted by troublemakers, and what happened is very dangerous, and it gives an insight into the depth of criminality in Tunisia,” he said, calling on civil society groups and political groups to back the security forces.
3 Nepalese workers detained for staging mass protest at factory
ALOR STAR: Police arrested three Nepalese for allegedly leading some 200 workers to stage a protest in front of plywood factory in Jalan Pokok Sena in Jabi last night. It is learnt that the group gathered in front of the premise to demand the management to look into the sudden death of three Nepal workers recently. They became further agitated when a worker was rushed to the hospital after suffering from breathing difficulties an hour before the 9pm protest.
Labor groups rally to protest S. Korean involvement in Cambodian crackdown
Groups condemn S. Korean embassy request that Cambodian military break protests to protect Korean companies
By Lee Jae-wook, staff reporter A recent bloody crackdown on striking workers at a Cambodian clothing factory reported reportedly took place after the South Korean government and companies urged the local government to address the strike. Representatives of 26 human rights and civic groups, including Korean House for International Solidarity, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, and People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, gathered in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul on the morning of Jan. 10 to decry the bloodbath.
“At least five people were killed and 23 wounded in the indiscriminate violence waged by Cambodian police and soldiers,” the group said. “This was an unprecedented suppression of human rights where the military was brought in at the request of the South Korean embassy and businesses because of a peaceful demonstration by workers, citizens, and even Buddhist monks.” According to the groups, after the workers launched their strike on Dec. 23, the South Korean embassy contacted senior officials in Cambodia on Dec. 27 to request a resolution. A formal letter was reportedly sent to the Cambodian justice ministry and relevant government ministries on Dec. 30 to request protections for South Korean businesses.
Bauxite mining sparks clash
KORAPUT: The district administration clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC at Doliambo, 35 km from here, on Friday following a clash between two groups, one supporting and another opposing mining at Mali hills. Sources said tension ran high as Hindalco, which had stocked mined bauxite, started transporting it in trucks. While a group of villagers opposed the company’s move, another group supported it, saying it is source of their livelihood. As the situation flared up, irate villagers damaged over two dozen vehicles and vandalized the office of Hindalco at Doliambo.
Police fear cooperation of Christodoulos Xeros and guerrilla organization
Anti-terrorism police officers seeking the convicted November 17 terrorist Christodoulos Xeros who absconded last week while on a prison furlough appear convinced that he had developed a close relationship with jailed members of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire and believe the guerrilla organization may have provided the 55-year-old with a hideout. According to police sources, Xeros had “frequent” and “close” contact with members of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire in Korydallos Prison where he was serving multiple life sentences, culminating in a New Year’s Eve party the day before Xeros left for his furlough.
The contacts between Xeros and the jailed guerrillas had one key goal, according to the sources – the revival of “revolutionary violence.” Police are also said to be investigating suspected ties between jailed members of the Conspiracy group and a convicted member of a violent crime syndicate smashed by police in 2012 who is serving time at Domokos Prison in central Greece. It is thought that the latter may have used his contacts in Korydallos to help the guerrillas jailed there assume control of their wing and support Xeros in his bid to elude the authorities.
According to security service officials, the crime syndicate convict was in frequent contact with the jailed guerrillas with the aim of providing members of the organization who remain at large with weapons to help them resume attacks. Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire is best known for a parcel bomb campaign in November 2010 that targeted embassies in Athens as well as the offices of European Union leaders in several foreign capitals.
Sources in the police and Public Order Ministry are worried that Xeros might help members of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire improve their knowledge and techniques, particularly in the manufacture of explosives. However, Kathimerini understands that the authorities do not fear a possible collaboration between Xeros and another convicted terrorist who has been at large since he absconded while on a furlough in summer of 2012, the self-professed leader of the leftist Revolutionary Struggle, Nikos Maziotis.