Parti Nationaliste Tunisien 2

Racism and Sub-Saharans in Tunisia: Italian influence or nationalistic lobbying?

Tunisian president’s shocking statement on sub-Saharan Africans in the country sparked xenophobic violence, police arrests, and evictions against them. It reflects Tunisia’s non-receptive migration policies and a security-focused approach. The wave of repression is linked to EU externalization of migration policies, and it is possible that Italian pressure and lobbying by the Tunisian Nationalist Party played a role. In the aftermath of the statement’s release, the Presidency has taken steps to address the criticism that ensued.

Tunisian Nationalist Party: Government-authorized racism

A political party recognized by the Tunisian government is openly displaying its xenophobia and rejection of sub-Saharan migrants. « Racism is a heinous crime punishable by the law. This racist discourse includes the incitation of violence and violates the provisions under Article 9 of the law combating racial discrimination », one jurist says. And yet members of the Tunisian Nationalist Party are clearly benefiting from its ins with authorities, even receiving airtime on television.