Analyst Sees Tunisian Unrest as Promising, Warning to Arab World


James Butty
Voice of America
January 20, 2011

Tunisia’s transitional government Wednesday freed all the country’s political prisoners and announced it would go after assets held overseas by former President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali and his family.

Ellen Lust, associate professor of political science at Yale University in Connecticut told VOA the release of the political prisoners is a welcome development, since most Tunisians feel the prisoners had been unduly punished by the deposed Ben Ali government.

“I think most people, certainly the people in (the) streets, feel that political prisoners in Tunisia were people who have been unduly punished for opposing a regime that they see as equally worst in terms of corruption and human rights,” she said.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa Wednesday warned Arab leaders at a summit in Egypt that the Middle East is being “broken” by poverty, unemployment and a general slide in economic conditions.

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