Brother of Ridha Yahyaoui Attempts Suicide

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Mahrez Yahyaoui, the brother of who’s suicide in sparked nationwide protests in January, himself attempted suicide on Wednesday, March 2.


Mahrez Yahyaoui, at one point climbed the same utility pole on which his brother Ridha Yahyaoui was electrocuted on January 16.


The authorities in Kasserine cut off the power supply to prevent against a possible second electrocution.


Mahrez than used a sharp object to lacerate his arms and torso before being transported to the Kasserine regional hospital to be treated for his self-inflicted wounds.


Mahrez’s brother Ridha, an unemployed man who had been taking part in a sit-in protest by youths demanding work in Kasserine, had climbed a utility pole in Kasserine after discovering that he and seven others had been removed from a list of potential employment candidates maintained by the municipality.


Ridha Yahyaoui came into contact with the high tension wires on the utility post and was electrocuted, Yahyaoui was transported to the regional hospital in Sfax where he pronounced dead on Saturday, January 16, 2016.


Ridha Yahyaoui’s death sparked nationwide protests and calls called for better living standards and employment opportunities in Tunisia’s interior regions.


The protests, the largest since the 2011 Revolution, which was itself triggered by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, saw the 2011 Revolutionary slogan of “Work, Freedom, Dignity” revived.


The Tunisian Government has promised to accelerate reforms and engage in a but has also emphasized that short of a ‘magic wand’ efforts to reduce unemployment it has called for time.


The Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment’s website lists Tunisia’s overall unemployment rate for 2014 as 15% against a rate of 15.3% in 2013, and 16.7% in 2012. Youth unemployment stands in excess of 30% nationally and higher in certain regions, particularly the interior governorates of Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine.