Hundreds of protesters protested racism in Tunisia

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the Tunisian capital to condemn racism and show solidarity with migrants.

ByThe Associated Press

February 25, 2023, 3:23 p.m

Tunis, Tunisia — Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Tunisia’s capital on Saturday to condemn racism and show solidarity with migrants after the country’s increasingly authoritarian leader claimed there was a plot to erase his country’s identity involving sub-Saharan Africans.

People chanting “no to racism”, “solidarity with migrants” and “no to police action” marched through central Tunis as part of a demonstration organized by the Tunisian Journalists’ Union and several NGOs.

President Kais Saied said earlier this week that “urgent measures” were needed to deal with the influx of illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan countries “with a lot of violence, crimes and unacceptable practices”.

Romdhane Ben Amor, spokesman for the Tunisian Forum for Social and Economic Rights, condemned the number of racist attacks against sub-Saharan migrants following Saied’s remarks.

“We noticed that some migrants were trying to be driven out of their homes,” he told The Associated Press. – Others are prevented from connecting by public transport.

Tunisian comedian Fatma Saidane condemned the “deplorable actions” targeting some sub-Saharan people and asked people to be civil.

“We must not attack or insult people on our land, just as we do not accept the abuse of our compatriots in Europe,” he said.

In recent days, about 100 sub-Saharan migrants have been detained for illegally crossing the Tunisian border, according to Riadh Nouioui, the deputy prosecutor of Kasserine, a mountainous region near Algeria. Other migrants arrive in the country from neighboring Libya.

Saied’s comments caused a storm on social media and condemned NGOs. Tunisia, once hailed as the only budding democracy in the Arab world, has also seen a recent crackdown on opposition politicians and activists.


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