Tunisia’s Minister of Culture Mehdi Mabrouk
Tunis – Azhar Jarboui
Tunisia’s Minister of Culture was hospitalised after being attacked with an egg and punched by director Nasr al-Din al-Sahily at a public function on Friday.
The assault took place at the Ibn Khaldun Foundation in the capital Tunis, where Minister of Culture Mehdi Mabrouk was attending a commemoration event for the late Tunisian comedian and actor Azouz Chennaoui.
Eyewitnesses said Sahily punched the minister, who was not accompanied by bodyguards, after a verbal altercation, although the cause of the dispute is not known.
Attacks against leading Tunisian have risen recently, and Friday’s incident revived the debate over freedom and security in the country since the January 2011 revolution.
The Tunisian minister of culture is one of a group of technocrats within the Tunisian cabinet, and is considered an independent member of the government led by the Islamic Ennahda Movement.
He was transferred to Charles Nicole Hospital in the Tunisian capital following the attack on Friday.