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Self-Immolation Reminds Tunisians Of Dashed Hopes

The Tunisian uprising, which started as a social revolution with a call for dignity and bread, has shifted to include not only economic grievances but a battle for the role of religion in the country, writes Fernande van Tets from Tunis.

The body of a young Tunisian man, who set himself on fire, is seen at the main street of the capital Tunis March 12, 2013. The man set himself on fire on Tuesday in a gesture recalling the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, whose death ignited a revolt in Tunisia that echoed across the Arab world. Security forces and bystanders tried to extinguish the flames before the man was rushed to hospital, witnesses said. The reason for his action

TUNIS — March 12 was a regular Tuesday morning in the Tunisian capital. Employees were on their way to work and the sun was shining on Avenue Habib Bourghuiba. Yet two events were about to happen that would exemplify the struggle for the soul of Tunisia’s revolution. The question surrounding Tunisia's "dignity revolution" is: Which dignity should take priority, freedom of expression or a job?

In front of the opera house, a well-dressed crowd gathered, sporting trendy sunglasses. They were there to protest against the arrest of their friend, actress Sabrina Klibi, who had been taken at 4 a.m. the previous morning by security services following her participation in a video called "The police are dogs," which criticizes violence by the police.

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