United Nations expresses concerns over Tunisian repression
We are closely watching the demonstrations across Tunisia and the authorities’ response to them. We are concerned about the high number of arrests – 778 people have been arrested since Monday, some 200 of them between the ages of 15 and 20. We call on the authorities to ensure that people are not arrested in an arbitrary manner, and that all those detained are treated with full respect for their due process rights and other fundamental guarantees.
The authorities must ensure that those exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are not prevented from doing so. Ahead of the 14 January anniversary of the 2011 revolution, it is particularly important to ensure that demonstrators are able to protest peacefully.
We understand there has been looting, vandalism and violence, including damage to police stations and shops. We call on all those taking to the streets to exercise restraint and calm. Peaceful demonstrators must not be held responsible or penalised for the violent acts of others.
We urge all sides to work together towards resolving, with full respect for human rights, the economic and social problems underpinning the unrest. The UN Human Rights Office in Tunisia will continue to closely monitor the situation.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, Middle East Monitor in London, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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