Jail for offenders with new Tunisian anti-discrimination law

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<pThe Tunisian parliament has voted overwhelmingly to outlaw racial discrimination and to make criminal offenders eligible for prison time.

<pLawmakers passed the measure late Tuesday. The legislation was a response to the assault of a man from Ivory Coast on a Tunis street in July that triggered reaction online and denunciation from anti-racism associations.

<pThousands of students from sub-Saharan Africa attend Tunisian universities, and some face sporadic verbal or physical aggression because of their skin color.

<pThe new law defines racial discrimination as "any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, ancestry" or other discrimination that lead to "disturbances, an obstruction or privation."

<pIt allows prison sentences of up to three years for convictions and fines equivalent to 300 to 1,000 euros ($345-$1,152.)