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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — A port director in Tunisia says authorities have instructed commercial ports in the North African nation to deny access to a ship rented by European identity groups and sailing the Mediterranean Sea with an anti-migrant message.
Fishermen and human rights activists in the Tunisian city of Zarzis unfurled a banner reading "No Racism" as the C Star, the flagship of operation Defend Europe, sailed in international waters off Tunisia's coast over the weekend.
Zarzis port director Karim Nouira told The Associated Press the ship never asked to dock at Zarzis and sailed north toward Sfax. But Nouira says Tunisia's Transport Ministry told ports to forbid C-Star's entry.
Defend Europe says it is monitoring aid groups that rescue migrants who have paid large sums to cross the sea in flimsy boats, claiming the groups are complicit in human trafficking.