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The New Arab

Tunisia pilot boots passenger over racist abuse towards black flight attendant

Many black Tunisians report having been the victims of racial discrimination [Twitter]

Date of publication: 20 May, 2018

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A pilot with Tunisia's national airline has kicked off a passenger after she hurled racist abuse at a black flight attendant.

A pilot with Tunisia's national airline has kicked off a passenger after she hurled racist abuse at a black flight attendant, local news website Nessma TV has reported.

Tunisair pilot Mounir Ajlani booted the abusive traveller from a flight from Tunisian capital to Istanbul earlier this month - in a move that has been hailed by commentators across social media.

The cabin crew member described the incident in a Facebook post, thanking her colleagues for defending her against the passenger.

Ghofrane Binous said that she was verbally attacked as she attempted to resolve a dispute between passengers over space for carry-on luggage in overhead compartments.

"I don't need your help. The last thing I need is a black b**** of an air hostess," she said the passenger told her.

Binous added that her colleagues came to her aid and the head pilot demanded the passenger be expelled from the plane.

The post gathered traction on social media, with many users expressing solidarity with the flight attendant.

On Thursday, Binous met with a parliament's rights committee to discuss the incident.

The lawmakers pledged to help the flight attendant take legal action and sent an "urgent message" to the head of Tunisair, urging him to support Binous.

Last year, Tunisia's parliament voted unanimously in favour of a bill to "criminalise discrimination, especially racism" beginning the two-stage process of passing the bill.

Around 10-15 percent of Tunisia's population of 10.8 million, identify as being black.

Many black Tunisians report having been the victims of racial discrimination and have said racial slurs are commonly used to address or refer to them.

This week, the first black Tunisian newsreader appeared on state-run television, prompting praise from social media users.

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