Tunisian player dies after setting himself on fire

According to his family, a Tunisian professional football player died this week after setting himself on fire in protest against “police injustice.” Nizar Issaoui, 35, suffered severe burns and was taken to a specialist burns hospital in Tunis. He could not be saved.

Issaoui, a former player for US Monastir, published a video on Facebook claiming that he was falsely accused of terrorism in the village of Haffouz, Kairouan, central Tunisia, which prompted his protest.

Following his death, there were demonstrations in Haffouz, where protesters threw stones at police officers, and the incident has been compared to that of Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor whose self-immolation sparked the Tunisian revolution in 2010.

The incident that led Issaoui to take this extreme action was a dispute over the price of bananas, which the government had set at 5 dinars per kilogram, but Issaoui was unable to buy them for less than 10 dinars per kilogram.

Tunisia is currently experiencing a severe economic crisis, with food becoming scarce, and the government is negotiating a $1.9bn loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund.