Politicians and locals from the southwestern governorate of Gafsa are displeased over the National Constituent Assembly’s (NCA) recent decision to not compensate the families of the martyrs and wounded of the 2008 uprising in the town of Redeyef.
On Wednesday, the NCA passed Decree 97 in which the families of the martyrs and wounded of the Jasmine revolution will be compensated by the government.
Locals from Redeyef organized a protest that very day, demanding that the families of those affected in the 2008 uprising in which around five locals were killed and around 41 wounded be included as well in the decree.
Some NCA members, who represent Gafsa, have denounced this decision by the NCA, and the ruling Ennahdha party is receiving a large share of their disapproval.
“It was the Ennahdha party that refused my proposal to include them [the martyrs and injured of the 2008 uprising] in the decree,” said Hassan Radhouani, a NCA member affiliated with Al Aridha party.
Mohamed Kehila, another NCA member from Al Joumhouri party, stated, “It is a scandal what Ennahdha did. Samir Dilou – the minister of transitional justice – promised us to include the martyrs of 2008, yet they were playing games and refused to compensate them.”
Ennahdha defended the decision as practical.
“We were confronted by two options: either we enlarge the decree to make it include many martyrs or we only compensate the martyrs and wounded of the period between December 17, 2010 until February 2011,” explained Abdelhalim Zouari, an Ennahdha member of the NCA representing Gafsa.
“We decided to choose the second option in order not to waste time,” asserted Zouari. He added that the situation of the families of the martyrs and wounded in Redeyef will be revisited in one week when the NCA will convene to discuss the transitional justice law.
The 2008 uprising was carried out by Redeyef’s inhabitants to protest against what they considered as unfair hiring practices on the part of Gafsa Phosphate Company after the results of a round of hiring were made known on January 8, 2008. The local economy of Gafsa is largely dependent on the production of phosphate.