Thousands defy protest ban against Tunisia president
Thousands of Tunisians have gathered in central Tunis in defiance of an official ban on their protest against President Kais Saied, calling for him to release detained critics and retract his controversial remarks on migrants.
He recently blamed illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa for violence and crime and said there was a plot to change the demographic composition of Tunisia.
Demonstrators shouted “down with the coup” – referring to the fact President Saied has been ruling by decree since September 2021, after dissolving parliament, suspending the constitution and dismissing the government.
“Stop racism and xenophobia” and “no to hate speech and discrimination” read some of the placards at Sunday’s demonstration.
Meanwhile in Senegal, 13 activists and an MP have been released after being arrested for protesting outside the Tunisian embassy.
On Saturday they tried to hand over letters denouncing recent remarks by the Tunisian president that triggered a wave of violence and discrimination against black Africans.
In their letters the Senegalese protestors described his words as hateful and racist.
In recent days hundreds of nationals from West African countries have been repatriated after saying they no longer felt safe in Tunisia.