On Tuesday evening, protesters were forced to leave the ministry by security personnel. Video by Aouinet Mongi
"Today, politicians have forgotten those whose sacrifice put them in power"
The wounded – those who could move, that is – went to the ministry along with martyrs’ family members and a few activists. They were responding to a call made by several organisations. The group totalled about a hundred people. They went there hoping to speak to someone in charge, but since no one came to talk to them [the ministry’s secretaries told them the minister was travelling in Germany], the protest turned into a sit-in. About two dozen people spent the night in the lobby.
Protesters forced their way into the ministry to hold a sit-in inside.
There have been many rumours on Facebook about the police attacking protesters. Personally, I didn’t see this when I was there. I’m not even sure that all of the wounded were truly wounded during the revolution. It’s possible that some people are trying to take advantage of the situation to get free treatment. This is sad, as it hurts the cause of the true victims.The true victims’ cases vary widely. Some received treatment in accordance with the new law signed on October 25, 2011, right after the legislative elections. But when they went to the hospital, they were so poorly treated that many preferred to go back home, where their families took better care of them. They feel that as heroes of the revolution, they should get better treatment, and I think they have a point. Meanwhile, other victims with more serious conditions are still waiting to be treated abroad [the Human Rights Minister notably promised some would be treated in Qatar]. Yet others received a first payment of 2,000 dinars [1,000 euros], but not all of them. Besides, this is not enough for people who risked their lives for our country.The question of the wounded was at the heart of the electoral campaign. The parties currently in power, notably Ennadha, promised them so much. Today, politicians have forgotten those whose sacrifice put them in power.
"Their fight is being co-opted by the opposition"
The wounded of the revolution face two hurdles. First of all, their fight is being co-opted by the opposition – it’s an easy way for them to attack the government, in particularly the majority party, Ennadha. I don’t support this party but I do feel they are being treated unjustly in this regard, since those in power after Ben Ali, during the transitional period, didn’t do anything for the wounded, either. Back then, before the elections, people kept saying it was too early, that we shouldn’t ask too much of transitional governments, that there was no money, etc. Today, the same people are using the wounded for their own purely political purposes.The other problem is that the wounded are poorly organised. Several different organisations have been speaking on their behalf, when they should choose just one to avoid miscommunication. And not all of the wounded are making reasonable demands. Some are asking for too much, and are overshadowing the others. We all know we owe the wounded of the revolution our freedom, but by acting this way, they won’t obtain anything at all.