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Arab Spring memories fresh as Tunisians protest MBS

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was greeted in Tunisia by hundreds of protesters, blaming him for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and calling for an end to the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
People chant slogans and hold banners as they take part in a protest, opposing the visit of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Tunis, Tunisia, November 27, 2018. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi - RC1CDFF239E0

“There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as 'free.' That nation is Tunisia,” slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi wrote in his final piece for The Washington Post, which was published posthumously on Oct. 17. It was an instance of macabre foreshadowing.

During Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s regional tour last week ahead of the G-20 summit, Tunisia was the only Arab country in which citizens mobilized online and organized demonstrations in the street. As soon as people heard about the visit, which was announced Nov. 22, a Facebook event was organized — and it quickly went viral. A number of civil society activists and organizations from a range of political and ideological backgrounds threw their weight behind the protests, including the powerful Journalist Syndicate. Protesters nicknamed Mohammed "Abu Monsar" ("Abu Saw" in Arabic) and carried corresponding props.

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