The mother of Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor whose self-immolation touched off a season of Arab uprisings, has been remanded into custody for insulting an official.
The justice ministry said on Saturday that Manoubia Bouazizi, 60, was arrested a day earlier after an altercation with a judge in a court in her hometown of Sidi Bouzid.
Manoubia Bouazizi had reportedly been trying to register for government benefits provided to the families of those who died in the revolution.
She was transferred to a detention centre in nearby Gafsa and is due to appear before a magistrate on Monday, charged with insulting an official while he was performing his duties, ministry spokesman Mondher Bedhiafi told the AFP news agency.
The uprising in Tunisia was sparked in December 2010 when Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old produce vendor, died after setting himself on fire in protest against his humiliation and extortion at the hands of police and government officials.
On Friday, his brother, Salem Bouazizi, said his mother argued with a clerk of the court, not the judge, who embarrassed her and pushed her towards the exit, at which point the two exchanged insults.
“My mother was humiliated. The authorities must learn to respect people. We’re not going to let this go,” Salem Bouazizi told AFP.
He said his mother had been at the courthouse to sign documents that would allow her to receive government compensation awarded to “martyrs of the revolution.”
There have been considerable tensions in Sidi Bouzid in the aftermath of the uprising over the international fame of the Bouazizi family.