Defend Migrants From Leader’s Racist Attack

Target: Joey R. Hood, US Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia

Goal: Stand in solidarity with protesters united against racism.

Tunisian protesters have united in solidarity with migrants after they were targeted by President Kais Saied. They chanted “Down with fascism, Tunisia is an African country,” unified against the “President of shame.” In a deplorable act of divisive politics, Saied has stated that the ‘hordes’ of Sub-Saharan Africans are responsible for crime and violence in Tunisia. He hinted at ethnic cleansing at an address at the National Security Council by saying that ‘urgent measures’ are in order toward the migrant population.

The racist remarks by Saied might be a diversion strategy from a month-long protest against his misrule, which has been plagued by poverty and oppression. He has been under criticism in recent months for arresting political opponents and activists. In another earlier demonstration, thousands of people from the leading political group of Tunisia, Union Generale Tunisienne du Travail, took to the streets across eight cities. In response, the government declared the head of the European Trade Union Confederation, Esther Lynch, as ‘persona non grata,’ after she took part in the protests.

The country is inhabited by more than 21,000 people from Sub-Saharan Africa, often choosing a temporary residence here before migrating to Italy. Many from Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Guinea also live in Tunisia with visas and other legal residencies. The passage from Tunisia to the island of Lampedusa in Italy involves a journey of 80 miles, arguably the world’s most perilous migrant route. Several migrants were arrested after the president’s remarks. Sub-Saharan Africans are reportedly being denied public transport. The African Union has condemned the statement as “shocking” and “against the letter and spirit” of the organization. HE Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, reminded that as a member of the bloc, Tunisia is obliged to treat all migrants with dignity, prioritize human rights, and refrain from “racialised hate speech that could bring people to harm.”

Racism is a global issue, not limited to the borders of any particular nation. Demonstrators in the capital Tunis demanded an immediate public apology. Stand in solidarity with protesters in Tunisia unified against a racist government.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ambassador Hood,

Tunisia is in turmoil after alleged racist remarks by President Kais Saied. The President has publicly claimed that ‘hordes’ of Sub-Saharan African migrants are responsible for crime and violence in the country. He ominously hinted at a possibility of ethnic cleansing at a National Security Council meeting by stating ‘urgent measures’ are in order.

The people have stood by the migrant population, demanding a public apology from the President.  The current situation is a continuation of earlier demonstrations held this month accusing the government of stifling trade union rights. Esther Lynch, the head of the European Trade Union Confederation, has been declared persona non grata for participating in the protests.

Ambassador Hood, racism is a global issue, even in the USA. By officiating a stand against racism, you can send a strong message of peace and harmony to the world.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Haythem Gataa


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