Joint Statement: Civil Society Groups Call for End to Crackdown in Tunisia

July 1, 2024

On June 18, 2024, human rights groups issued a joint declaration calling on the Tunisian government to cease its crackdown on free expression and association and respect human rights. In May, Tunisia escalated its repression with new arrests and intimidation targeting human rights defenders, journalists, and lawyers. Concurrently, anti-migrant rhetoric intensified, leading to unlawful expulsions of African migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. Authorities raided camps near IOM and UNHCR offices, resulting in the expulsion of around 400 individuals and the detention of at least 80. The government also targeted civil society organizations supporting migrants. Journalists and lawyers were detained under Tunisia’s repressive cybercrime law, Decree 54. President Saied’s xenophobic remarks in 2023 fueled anti-Black violence, and recent inflammatory statements continue to vilify civil society. Since Saied’s power grab in July 2021, fundamental freedoms have been dismantled.

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