Dozens of Tunisians protested Sunday in the capital of Tunis, demanding the right to eat and drink in public during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and protesting the arrests of non-fasters.

There is no law against eating or drinking in public during Ramadan, but each year the issue comes to contention. The constitution of Tunisia promises its citizens “freedom of belief and conscience,” while also considering itself the “guardian of religion.”

Read: Ramadan 2017: Fasting Rules And Survival Tips For Muslim Holy Month

Protesters organized under the “Mouch Bessif” (Arabic for “Not against our will) group congregated in central Tunis, shouting “Individual freedom is guaranteed  by the constitution!” One man smoked a cigarette, another unacceptable action during Ramadan hours. He also held a sign in French that said, “Why does it bother you if you fast and I eat?”

The demonstrators also advocated for the rights of non-fasters and protested the arrests of non-fasters. At the beginning of June, four men were charged with “public indecency” and sentenced to one month in jail after they ate outside during daylight hours. The men had been “eating and smoking in a public garden, a provocative act during Ramadan,” said Chokri Lahmar, prosecution spokesman at the court in Bizerte. The four men had 10 days to appeal against their sentences before the terms were meant to take effect, he said to Agence France-Presse.

“We’re protesting about lawsuits against non-fasters. Whoever wants to fast can fast, but whoever doesn’t want to shouldn’t have to,” said demonstrator Karim Chair to AFP on Sunday. Since the 2011 revolution, there have been desires for the right not to fast, but Sunday’s protest was the first time a demonstration of that type has taken place in Tunisia.

“I fast, but I came to join this protest and call with these people for respect for the freedom of belief and conscience,” said demonstrator Kamel Jalouli.

immigrant Bengali volunteers prepares Iftar food for Muslims preparing to break their fast at district Torpignattara during Ramadan on June 11, 2017 in Rome, Italy Photo: Getty Images

During Ramadan, most restaurants and cafes close during the day. Those that choose to open do it discreetly. Muslims around the world do not eat food or drink liquids from dawn to dusk during Ramadan. They break the fast with a meal called iftar and before dawn they can eat and drink during suhur.

Read: Fasting During Ramadan And 5 Things To Know About A Day In The Islamic Month

In 2013, Abdelkarim Benabdallah and Wassim Ben Ammar created a Facebook group for people who wanted to find places to eat during the day in Ramadan and has been helped by the hashtag #Fater. The page currently has over 4,000 likes. The objectives were to utilize social media to bring like-minded people together and to protect human rights. 

“If you don’t practice your rights, they’ll fade away,” said Benabdallah. “We have to go against the system if we want to claim our rights.”