The prefect of Dakar and a lawyer for the activists reported that more than a dozen activists and a member of parliament were detained outside the Tunisian embassy in Senegal’s capital on Saturday.
14 people, including MP Guy Marius Sagna, were reportedly detained and held at the central police station, according to attorney Moussa Sarr.
Mor Talla Tine, the prefect of Dakar, confirmed that arrests had been made.
Another activist confirmed to AFP that he and Sagna had been taken into custody.
Two journalists, according to Sarr, were detained but later released.
They were detained for taking part in an unlawful demonstration, Sarr claimed. To submit individual letters of protest, they traveled to the Tunisian embassy.
It comes in response to global outrage over a wave of anti-sub-Saharan African violence in Tunisia that was brought on by a tirade by Tunisian President Kais Saied on February 21.
Saied stated in his speech that “urgent measures” needed to be taken to address irregular migration because “a criminal plot” was allegedly underway “to change Tunisia’s demographic makeup.” Saied made no supporting claims for his assertions.
The activists detained on Saturday belonged to a number of groups that had urged their followers to deliver letters of protest to the embassy after Senegalese authorities forbade a rally that was scheduled for Saturday.
One of the letters an activist shared with AFP read, “We… are writing this letter to protest against the hunt for black Africans in Tunisia following the racist and hateful remarks made by the Tunisian president.
To bring home their citizens, the governments of Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Mali have dispatched aircraft to Tunisia.