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Tunisia: Human Rights

Volume 729: debated on Tuesday 14 March 2023

10. What recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the human rights situation in Tunisia. (904058)

We are concerned by the recent wide-ranging arrests in Tunisia, including those of politicians, former civil servants, businesspeople and media representatives. The UK underlines the importance of due legal process and respect for human rights, especially freedoms of expression and association. Tunisians should have the space for legitimate political opposition, civil society and independent media activity.

I thank the Minister for that answer, but President Kais is seeking to impose one-man rule in Tunisia, including with a sham Parliament and the arrest of critics. He now appears to be looking for scapegoats, such as black Africans, to distract attention from the dire economic and social situation. Will the Minister condemn what is happening now in Tunisia and support those working for democratic and tolerant governance in the country?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister for north Africa, publicly commented on this matter on 16 February. He has also raised the issue with the Tunisian chargé d’affaires, and G7 ambassadors in Tunisia have also made a number of joint statements since July 2021. We are also aware of reports of racially motivated discrimination and violence towards perceived sub-Saharan African migrants, and we encourage Tunisia to comply with the international convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.