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Fri Sep 7, 2012 9:28PM
Tunisian women shout slogans while holding signs calling for a purge of Tunisia in the Kasbah area of Tunis, outside the government headquarters, on September 7, 2012.

Tunisian women shout slogans while holding signs calling for a purge of Tunisia in the Kasbah area of Tunis, outside the government headquarters, on September 7, 2012.

Supporters of Tunisia's ruling party Ennahda have staged a demonstration in Tunis in which they called for the expulsion of officials of the former regime from the current government. The demonstrators gathered in the Kasbah area of the capital, outside the government headquarters, on Friday. Carrying banners which read "Wake up government, cleansing is not a privilege" and “The people want the judiciary and media to be cleansed," the protesters have called for purges of the media, the judiciary, and the political opposition. In July 2012, a Tunisian military court gave a second life sentence to former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali for complicity in the killing of anti-regime protesters prior to his ouster in January 2011. In a trial held in absentia, a Tunisian court gave Ben Ali his first life sentence in June 2012 for complicity in the killing of protesters in southern Tunisia. According to the United Nations, more than 300 people were killed and many others injured in the crackdown on protests over corruption, unemployment, and high food prices carried out by the former government before it collapsed. Many pro-democracy protesters were shot and killed by the security forces in January 2011. However, Saudi Arabia has refused to hand Ben Ali and his wife over to the Tunisian authorities, despite the fact that Tunisia has issued international arrest warrants for them and is seeking their extradition. MAM/KA/HGL
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