A Tunisian Nizar Issawi football player kicked the bucket on Thursday in the wake of setting himself ablaze recently over what he referred to police as “shamefulness”.
On Monday, Nizar Issawi held a demonstration outside a police station in Haffuz city, which is in the province of Kairouan.
The 35-year-old said in a Facebook live video that the police had wrongfully accused him of terrorism after he complained that a banana vendor was charging more for the fruit than the government rate.
In the video, Issawi is heard saying, “People, look at them, they are being unjust against me,” while pointing at the police station.
“Psychological warfare over bananas. Before lighting himself on fire, he said, “Here they are.”
According to local health authorities, he was transported to a hospital with third-degree burns. He passed away late on Thursday.
In Haffuz, there were only a few angry protests after his death. It is said that tear gas was used by police to disperse protesters who threw stones at them.
The incident has not yet received a response from Tunisian authorities.
According to local media, Nizar Issawi wrote the following in a Facebook post as his final message before his death: ” In the name of the rule of law, it is extremely disheartening to witness your rights being violated three times in front of your very eyes. Feeling like a stranger in your own country is a terrible feeling.
“Today marks the end of my speaking career. Both the judge and the defendant will be me. Let the police state know that the sentence will be carried out today because I have no more energy.”
Issawi had played professional football for Union Sportive Monastirienne, a top-tier club in Tunisia.
The episode is suggestive of the December 2010 self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, whose passing early the following year ignited mass fights across the Bedouin talking world known as the Middle Easterner Spring.
Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street vendor from Sidi Bouzid in central Tunisia, set himself ablaze to protest the corrupt behavior of his local police, which frequently humiliated him and took his goods.