18 Dec 2011

Tunisia honours man who ignited uprising

8:27 am on 18 December 2011

Tunisians have unveiled a statue in honour of the man who set himself alight a year ago, unleashing a protest movement that ended in toppling Tunisia's president and inspiring uprisings across the Arab world.

Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old street fruit-seller who supported eight people on less than $200 a month, refused to pay three council inspectors bribes, so they seized his goods and beat him.

When he was refused an audience with the governor he poured a can of petrol over himself and lit a match.

He was rushed to hospital in a coma with 90% burns, and died on 5 January.

The BBC reports that Tunisia's new freely elected president, Moncef Marzouki, joined flag-waving crowds in Sidi Bouzid in commemoration.