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16th Apr 2023

Footballer dies after setting himself on fire

Callum Boyle

He died as a result of third-degree burns

A footballer has died in Tunisia after he set himself on fire in an act of protest.

Nizar Issaoui, 35, died after suffering from third-degree burns on Thursday as a result of protesting against “police injustice” in Tunis.

Issaoui’s brother confirmed the news, saying: “He died yesterday [Thursday] and will be buried today [Friday].”

A video posted to Facebook by Issaoui before his death confirmed his intention to protest after being accused of conducting acts of “terrorism” in the village of Haffouz, Kairouan, central Tunisia after trying to buy bananas.

In the video, he said: “For a dispute with someone selling bananas at 10 dinars, I get accused of terrorism at the police station. Terrorism for a complaint about bananas.”

After saying he had sentenced himself to “death by fire”, he added: “I have no more energy, let the police state know that the sentence will be executed today.”

Protests continued after the 35-year-old’s death with local media reporting that clashes broke out between protestors and the police while the funeral was taking place, with tear gas being used.

Those coming to mourn Issaoui also protested outside the local police station and could be heard chanting: “With our blood and with our soul we will sacrifice ourselves for you, Nizar.”

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