Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Tunisia parliament adopts anti-racism law

The Arab World | 2018-10-10 14:04:00
Tunisia parliament adopts anti-racism law
Tunisia's parliament has adopted a law criminalizing racist speech, incitement to hatred and discrimination, in a vote hailed as a historic first in a country with a significant black minority.

The legislation was approved on Tuesday night after a lengthy debate with 125 members of parliament voting for it, one against and five abstaining.

"This is a very important turning point in the history of Tunisia, equivalent to the abolition of slavery," said Messaoud Romdhani, head of the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights.

Slavery was abolished in the North African country when it was a beylik, or vassal of the Ottoman empire, in 1846.

"It's a giant step, but there's still a lot of work to be done to make this law a reality in a society where there is racism against the 10 percent of black Tunisians and sub-Saharan Africans who suffer from insults and sometimes violent attacks," said Romdhani.

"It is a question of punishing but also of showing respect, especially through education."

Under the newly passed legislation, offenders can be jailed for one month and fined 1,000 dinars ($350) for using racist language.

Incitement to hatred, making racist threats, spreading and advocating racism, and belonging to an organization that supports discrimination are punishable by one to three years in prison and can be fined up to 3,000 dinars.

"This is a historic moment for Tunisia," said the Tunisian Association for Minority Support, adding it would continue "the fight to ensure the proper implementation of the law."

Non-governmental organizations in Tunisia often report attacks on people singled out for the color of their skin.

In August, an Ivorian woman was beaten after responding to insults, raising fears of more attacks on her community.
AFP
Keywords:
Comments (0)

Post Your Comments

fill all fields below
*This confirmation code will prevent auto submit
X :Latest News
Timeline: The rise and fall of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria      U.S. cannot back Syrian forces who align with Assad: U.S. commander      Saudi Arabia signs warship construction deal with France's Naval Group      Saudi crown prince begins Asia tour in Pakistan amid India tensions      France denies it has softened stance on Brexit      Nigerian presidential poll postponed, opposition slams decision      Germany cool on Trump appeal to take back IS fighters from Syria      In Iraq visit, U.S. general eyes longer-term Islamic State threat