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Tunisian Court Rules That A Man Can Drop Slavery-Linked Name

An 81-year-old Tunisian man has won a landmark court ruling to remove from his name a word that marked him as a descendant of slaves.

The word ateeq, meaning “freed from slavery”, is used as a middle name even though Tunisia abolished slavery in 1846.

Hamden Dali’s lawyers argued that the word discriminated against black Tunisians, who make up around 15% of the population, and made it difficult to get jobs.

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“In ‘Ateeq Dali’, there is a certain humiliation because it is as if the person is not free – there is a discomfort for the family to live with this name,” lawyer Hanen Ben Hassena told the Reuters news agency.

Tunisia black population are descended people brought from sub-Saharan Africa to Tunisia as part of the slave trade, Reuters adds.

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