by Alya Gorgi

Tunisia: racism at the top of the state

Tunisie : le racisme au sommet de l'état

The recent arrests of anti-racist activists in Tunisia, including Saadia Mosbah, president of the Mnemty association, have reignited concerns within the country's black community.

These actions, apparently motivated by accusations of foreign financing and conspiracy linked to sub-Saharan immigration, raise concerns about respect for the rights of minorities in the country already accused of negrophobia.

After two weeks marked by the evacuation of sub-Saharan migrants and increasing repression of associations helping these populations, the Tunisian authorities are hardening their position. Representatives of associations, including Saadia Mosbah, were arrested and placed in police custody, fueling fears about the repression of anti-racist voices in the country.

Tunisia, despite the adoption of an anti-racist law in 2018, still seems to face prejudice against sub-Saharan migrants. Statements by President Kaïs Saïed, calling anti-racist activists “traitors” and “agents,” appear to encourage this distrust, raising concerns about the safety and freedom of members of the country’s black community.

The arrest of Saadia Mosbah and other members of Mnemty comes against a backdrop of a campaign of harassment and defamation on social networks against anti-racist activists. Authorities appear to be using the law on combating terrorism and money laundering to suppress these dissenting voices, thereby endangering civil liberties and human rights in Tunisia.

The arrests sparked national and international outrage, with calls for the immediate release of Saadia Mosbah and her colleagues. Human rights organizations denounced these acts as attacks on freedom of expression and civil society in Tunisia.

The arrest of Saadia Mosbah highlights the persistent challenges facing Tunisia in terms of human rights and respect for minorities. It is imperative that the Tunisian authorities guarantee freedom of expression and security for all citizens, regardless of their ethnic origin or political affiliations.