TUNISIA, Feb. 26 (AP) — Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the Tunisian capital Saturday to denounce racism and express solidarity with immigrants after the country’s increasingly authoritarian leader claimed the existence of sub-Saharan A plot by South Africans to erase their national identity.
People marched through central Tunisia, chanting “against racism”, “in solidarity with immigrants” and “against police repression” as part of a demonstration organized by the Tunisian journalists’ union and several NGOs.
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President Keith Saeed said earlier this week that “urgent measures” were needed to tackle illegal immigration from sub-Saharan countries “where there is a lot of violence, crime and unacceptable practices.”
Romdhane Ben Amor, spokesman for the Tunisian Forum for Social and Economic Rights, deplored the rise in racist attacks against sub-Saharan migrants following Saeed’s remarks.
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“We noticed that there were attempts to drive some migrants out of their homes,” he told The Associated Press.
“Others were banned from public transport.”
Tunisian comedian Fatma Saidane condemned “regrettable acts” against some people in the sub-Saharan region and called for a civic-minded attitude.
“We must not attack or insult those who live in our land, just as we do not accept the mistreatment of our compatriots in Europe,” she said.
Some 100 sub-Saharan migrants have been detained in recent days for crossing the Tunisian border illegally, according to Riadh Nouiioui, deputy public prosecutor in Kasserine, a mountainous region near Algeria. Other migrants entered the country from neighboring Libya.
Saeed’s remarks sparked an uproar on social media and drew condemnation from NGOs. Tunisia, once heralded as the only budding democracy in the Arab world, has also seen a recent crackdown on opposition politicians and activists. (Associated Press)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the body of content may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)