Tunisia’s president, Kais Saied, has rejected accusations of racism and threatened legal action against those who commit racial assaults.
It came more than a week after he sparked outrage from human rights organisations when he claimed that African migrants were involved in a plot to alter Tunisia’s demographic composition in the midst of an assault on immigrants.
According to rights organisations, the president’s comments have led to the detention, abuse, and eviction of dozens of sub-Saharan Africans from their homes.
On Sunday, demonstrations were conducted in the capital to demand the release of opposition leaders who had been detained and arrested and were thought to be critical of Mr. Saied. The demonstrators also voiced their disgust with racism.
After dismissing the government, dissolving the legislature, and suspending the constitution in 2021, Mr. Saied has governed the nation by decree. He claimed that the sources of the purported racism campaign “are known” on Sunday without going into further detail.
In addition to mentioning that Tunisia was an African nation and that “Africans are our brothers,” he also mentioned that it was one of the founding members of the Organization of African Unity, which subsequently evolved into the African Union.
He also disclosed that African residents would no longer need visas.
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