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Tunisian NGO decries arbitrary arrests of sub-Saharan students – General news

(ANSAmed) – TUNISI, 11 FEB – The Tunisian Association for the Support of Minorities (ATSM) and the Tunisian Association of Sub-Saharan Students (AESAT) spoke out in a press conference in Tunis against “arbitrary arrests” of several young students of sub-Saharan African origins outside their university and their homes without ant justification provided.

Representatives of students and interns of sub-Saharan origins have protested against what they claim is a wave of xenophobic arrests.

They say that about 300 young Africans of sub-Saharan origins have been arrested, often beaten and detained for several hours without any apparent reason.

ATSM has been informed on many occasions of “arbitrary arrests of sub-Saharan students, despite their having shown official ID cards and stay permits to the security forces,” said Raoudha Seïbi calling it a “violation of the rights of African students.”

Especially critical was AESAT chief Christian Kwongang on the growing number of arbitrary arrests of sub-saharan students in some regions, especially the northern governorate of Ariana. “These arrests have sparked panic among African students in Tunisia,” he said, and it is feared that “these arrests were made on the basis of skin color.”

AESAT has since its creation in 1994 coordinated with the Tunisian higher education and scientific research ministry as well as the interior ministry to facilitate the integration of African students, Kwongang said.

These arrests are made despite the students abiding by the curfew in place and the country’s health protocol.

“It is important to respect the rights of the sub-Saharan community in Tunisia, in line with international conventions,” said the AESAT chief, especially as African students play a key role in revitalizing the economy when they enroll in Tunisian’s private universities. (ANSAmed).

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