Rights Watchdogs decry ‘unprecedented’ clampdown on migrants, critics in Tunisia

Rights Watchdogs decry ‘unprecedented’ clampdown on migrants, critics in Tunisia

A constellation of rights watchdogs, including Amnesty International, have condemned the Tunisian regime for its violent crackdown on migrants and for repression against critics, which intensified ahead of the Presidential elections in what was once the Arab Spring success story.

In the past few days, Tunisian authorities arrested lawyers and journalists in an “”an unprecedented repressive clampdown,” Amnesty International said.

Lawyers have staged a strike last week in protest of the arrest of their colleague Mahdi Zagrouba, who said he was tortured during a police interrogation.

Arbitrary arrests were broadcasted in broad light when France 24 filmed live the arrest of lawyers Mahdi Zagrouba and Sonia Dahmani, who were seeking refuge in the Bar association in Tunis.

As the Tunisian regime continues to scapegoat migrants for its economic crisis, thousands of migrants have suffered violence and have been thrown in harsh conditions on the Algerian and Libyan borders.

The critics who denounce the inhumane treatment reserved to migrants face arrest like Saadia Mosbah, a black Tunisian activist who defends migrants’ rights.

Some Tunisian MPs have called for the setting up of citizen militias to expel migrants, surfing on a wave of xenophobia fueled by the President himself.

Kais Saied has previously described migrants as “hordes” who threaten Tunisia’s identity and warned of a “great replacement,” setting the tone of an anti-migrant rhetoric followed by violations of all sorts.

The US and the EU have asked the Tunisian government to clarify and condemn the targeting of critics and migrants. However, the Tunisian President seems unconcerned as he seems to be replicating the Gaddafi tactics of weaponizing migration by using migrants as pawns in negotiating aid with the EU.

Share This