Tunisia releases African student leader pending deportation

Tunisia releases African student leader pending deportation

The former president of a sub-Saharan African students association has been released after his arrest in Tunis last month, the student group said Friday, according to AFP. Christian Kwongang, a Cameroonian student who led the Association of African Students and Interns in Tunisia (AESAT) until last February, had previously spoken out against racist attacks and arbitrary arrests in the country. Arrested on March 19 while renewing his residency, he was released on March 29 after being held “without charges or trial”, the group said. 

The interior ministry stated Kwongang is accused of violating Tunisian laws and disturbing public order. He awaits deportation to Cameroon and is being supported by the Tunisian Red Crescent.

 The students association said Kwongang was questioned extensively about his activities following President Kais Saied's controversial speech last year denouncing illegal migrants. The speech sparked anti-migrant violence across Tunisia, impacting sub-Saharan African students. 

Witnesses described a "hunt for blacks" and for more than two weeks the association advised students to stop attending classes and to venture outside only in an emergency.

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