From dignity to racial purity? Saied’s anti-“African” agenda

In a shocking display of President Kais Saied’s populist politics and anti-migrant crackdown, Tunisian police forcibly dismantled a protest camp of asylum seekers in Tunis early on May 3rd, expelling around 500 black migrants to the Algerian and Libyan borders without food or water. This brutal action underscores the Tunisian government’s increasingly explicit agenda of racial purification targeting sub-Saharan Africans, which human rights groups condemn as blatant anti-Black racism cloaked in anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Between authoritarian crack-down and internal crisis, can Ennahda rise again?

In the months after the 2011 Tunisian uprising, the Islamist party Ennahda emerged from the shadows of repression to win a comfortable victory in the first free elections, dominating in urban Tunis almost as much as it did in rural Tataouine. The party soon became the most important actor in the democratic transition. But now, in the face of a sharp authoritarian reversal, Ennahda faces its most serious crisis in decades.

Happy 20th Anniversary, Nawaat!

Twenty years ago, Nawaat began as a modest platform for Tunisians to voice their dissent against censorship and connect over shared struggles for freedom. Evolving from a simple forum to a comprehensive digital media outlet, it has played a crucial role in disseminating vital information and fostering a community of activists, bloggers, and journalists dedicated to the cause of democracy and transparency in Tunisia.

Kasserine: The Forgotten Cemetery of Spanish Republicans

In the aftermath of General Franco’s victory in Spain’s civil war, an ally of Hitler and Mussolini, nearly half a million Spanish Republicans were compelled to flee their homeland starting in February 1939. This mass exodus, known as the Retirada, saw hundreds of Spanish Marine officers seeking refuge in Bizerte, Tunisia, from May 1939 to June 1940. They found themselves in work camps, particularly near Mount Chaambi in Kasserine, where despite enduring hunger and illness, most remained for 17 years, from 1939 to 1956, with some staying until the early 1980s. Only about 20 of them died there between July 1941 and October 1949, and were laid to rest in a now-forgotten cemetery.

Denigration, Kais Saied’s political weapon of choice

Kais Saied is particularly generous when it comes to spouting off vague accusations. Ever loyal to his habitual fallback, conspiracy theories, the Tunisian president is quick to point a finger at certain “parties” without naming them, to throw verbal jabs and employ sarcasm as captured in videos diffused on social media. With all this verbal jousting, who has time to respect the rule of law anyway?

The struggle is twofold for LGBT migrants in Tunisia

Fleeing persecution in their countries of origin, LGBT migrants set off in the hopes of finding safety elsewhere. During their journey across country borders, they are exposed to extreme violence, and sexual abuse in particular. Their ordeal continues when they arrive in Tunisia, where they are confronted with other forms of abuse. For these individuals, the future does not lie in Tunisia. But their safe passage to another country requires the support of the UNHCR.