Warning for summer tourists going to Tunisia: Foreign Office says Brits of ‘South Asian descent’ are being turned away at airports or DETAINED
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Summer tourists have been warned that Britons of ‘South Asian descent’ are being turned away at the country’s airports or even detained amid a state of emergency.
The Foreign Office said British citizens have been subjected to additional checks or denied entry, including at the second-biggest airport, Enfidha, for alleged security reasons, in discreetly updated guidance on its website the last week.
The officials added that the British embassy had raised the issue with the Tunisian authorities, but warned that the embassy cannot override its decision-making. MailOnline has contacted the Foreign Office, the British Embassy and the Tunisian Embassy in London for more information.
Tunisia has seen a rise in racially motivated attacks following comments by President Kais Saied in February accusing ‘hordes’ of illegal immigrants of generating violence and alleging a ‘criminal plot’ to change the country’s demographic makeup.
With a population of 12 million, Tunisia is home to some 21,000 immigrants from other parts of Africa, representing just 0.2 percent of the population.
Enfidha-Hammamet International Airport is among the airports the British Foreign Office says are turning away or detaining Britons of South Asian descent.
The Foreign Office travel advisory reads: ‘Some British citizens of South Asian descent have been delayed, temporarily detained or denied entry to the country by Tunisian immigration authorities at airports. This can cause distress and inconvenience. The British Embassy has raised this issue with the Tunisian authorities.
“Entry into Tunisia is decided by the Tunisian authorities, and decisions to deny entry cannot be overturned by the British embassy.”
They added: “Some British citizens of South Asian descent have been subject to additional checks or have been turned away by immigration authorities at airports, including Enfidha, for alleged security reasons.”
It comes a week after hundreds of Tunisians gathered in the streets and blocked roads by burning tires while demanding the eviction of all illegal immigrants, according to AFP.
The guide was quietly updated on the Foreign Office website last week.
Doctor Lazhar Neji said 30-40 migrants, including women and children, were injured after the ‘inhumane’ and ‘bloody’ attack in Sfax, Tunisia, as horrific scenes unfolded on Tuesday, July 5.
The day before, residents had vowed to ‘avenge’ the death of a 41-year-old Tunisian man at his funeral after he was stabbed to death during an altercation with three suspected Cameroonian immigrants.
A state of emergency has been in effect in Tunisia since a suicide attack on a police bus in 2015. It has been extended several times, most recently in 2022.
President Kais Saied ratified a new constitution in the country in 2022 following the suspension of parliament in 2021 and its dissolution a year later. The new parliament reopened its doors in March 2023 after the December 2022 and January 2023 elections.