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Tunisian rights group denounces President Saied's hate speech

Tunisia's President Kais Saied   -  
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FETHI BELAID/AFP or licensors


The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights reacted to President Kais Saied's comments accusing sub-Saharan African migrants of causing crime while posing a demographic threat.

The spokesman for the rights group accused the President of racism and hate speech.

"We feel ashamed of the president's (Kais Saied) speech. We feel discontented for the words used (in his speech) which stigmatise and discriminate against sub-Saharan migrants", said Romdhane Ben Amor, spokesman of the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights.

Last week, 23 rights groups said the state had already started cracking down on migrants from sub-Saharan Africa while turning a blind eye to racist "hate speech".

"The president of the republic must bear responsibility and the Tunisian state should live up to its commitments in regard to international rights treaties.
We demand an immediate end to this systematic campaign against sub-Saharan migrants and the release of those detained. Secondly, the president must launch a thorough administrative process through which illegal sub-Saharan migrants can regulate their situation", demanded the spokesman of the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights.

Tunisia is a key departure point for African migrants seeking to reach Europe on what the United Nations says is the world's deadliest migration route.

According to official Italian figures, more than 32,000 migrants, including 18,000 Tunisians, attempted the crossing from Tunisia to Italy last year.

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