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Tunisia: 26 human rights groups call for the protection of migrants

May 30, 2023 at 10:06 am

Sudanese and Yemenite migrants show their refugee cards outside the offices of the International organisation for Migration (OIM) on April 12, 2023 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Tunisian associations and organisations advocating for human rights issued a joint statement yesterday urging the government to protect migrants and eliminate discrimination against them.

The statement was released by 26 human rights associations and organisations following the killing of a migrant and the injury of four others in an attack by Tunisian youths on a residence housing migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa in the city of Sfax last week, according to the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights.

The signatories called upon the government to “assume its responsibilities in safeguarding migrants, regardless of their administrative status, and ensuring their physical and psychological well-being. They also demanded the elimination of all forms of discrimination and restrictions imposed on migrants, which aim to hinder and impede the recognition, enjoyment, and exercise of their rights.”

Kais Said: Black African immigrants trying to change the demographic make-up of Tunisia - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Kais Said: Black African immigrants trying to change the demographic make-up of Tunisia – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

A statement has revealed that a residence was targeted in an attack by a group of youths on the night of 22 May and the morning of 23 May, resulting in the death of one migrant and severe injuries to four others.

The associations attributed the incident to an ongoing context of incitement, hatred and racism against migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa since President Kais Saied’s speech on 21 February this year in which he claimed that immigration is a plot at changing Tunisia’s demography.

They called for public policies and operational strategies capable of preventing all forms of racial discrimination, combating common racial stereotypes and addressing violence in all its manifestations.

Authorities issued no immediate response to the statement.

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