A wild and chaotic scene unfolded at one international airport as passengers trapped in an airport for several days reach their breaking point. According to witnesses, the travelers assaulted police who then retaliated by beating them repeatedly with batons.
Like many airlines, Tunisair has been affected by increased travel demand and forced to cancel many flights because of unfit aircraft. According to one report, Sub-Saharan migrants without visas or hotels were among those stuck in at the airport due to cancelations and apparently had enough, allegedly protesting and attacking airport personnel.
Security personnel from the Tunis Carthage International Airport responded in kind brutally beating several of the passengers with batons on a chaotic video that’s been making its way around social media.
Although we cannot confirm this, the Redditor who shared the video claims that non-white passengers were bumped in favor of white passengers for the few flights that did get through.
Refugees from Sub-Saharan countries like Chad are often treated with contempt by Tunisians – at least according to Info Migrants which shared a story of an unrelated sit-in that occurred where migrants protested their poor treatment in Tunisia at the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
According to an Africa News report, migrants fill job gaps in Tunisian society filling many blue-collar roles like construction or gas stations. They are also typically not afforded the same rights as Tunisian citizens which leads to mistreatment by employers including not being paid proper wages.
One man who came from Eritrea, told Info Migrants, “I spent two years in Libya before coming to Tunisia. There I was beaten, treated violently and imprisoned. Here in Tunisia they look at us as dirt. We are human, not dirt. I want to leave to help my family in Eritrea.”
According to the Mirror report, 8 people were arrested during the incident at the Carthage airport.