The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed alarm on Friday, November 30, at the unrest in Siliana while calling on the government to stop the use of excessive force by security forces against demonstrators.
More than 220 people have been injured in violent confrontations stemming from protests beginning Tuesday over unemployment and poor economic conditions.
The High Commissioner in particular condemned the use of shotguns against the protesters, who had announced their planned demonstrations in advance to authorities.
UN Information Center staff visited on Thursday victims of the violence, who had been transferred to hospitals in Tunis, documenting instances of shotgun wounds to the head, back, face, and eyes, which may in some cases lead to blindness. Other demonstrators were hospitalized with broken bones.
Urging the necessity of continued efforts in economic development throughout Tunisia, Pillay also stressed the importance of the fundamental rights to free expression and peaceful assembly. She appealed to authorities to take the appropriate measures to prevent such abuses from occurring in the future.