In Tunisia, two sub-Saharan migrants have been found dead in recent days in desert areas, while dozens of other people are also left to fend for themselves.
Between words and deeds, there is now a gap. On July 8, Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed received his head of government Najla Bouden to discuss, among other things, the issue of regular immigration. The President of the Republic then highlighted “the human treatment received by these migrants and which stems from our values, contrary to what is said in colonial circles”. Before meeting with the president of the Red Crescent, Abdellatif Chabou.
According to Kaïs Saïed, for sub-Saharan migrants, everything would therefore be for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Except that for several days, the situation of sub-Saharans has been dramatic, especially in the city of Sfax, as well as at the borders with Algeria and Libya. Several expulsions have taken place in recent days, which have even affected people who are legally present in Tunisia.
It all started a little over ten days ago. Dozens of sub-Saharan migrants were driven out of the city of Sfax, after the death of a resident. Locals, but also police, decided to violently attack these migrants.
This night police and population in the rain in the arrest of blacks.
In this video you will see from Tunisia with sticks in hand that they use to abduct sub-Saharans from their homes by force to hand them over to the police. pic.twitter.com/cBJ6Gqx6g2
— I am a migrant (@jesuismigrant) July 4, 2023
Since then, a real hunt for Sub-Saharans has begun. In addition to people expelled from their homes in Sfax, some have been forcibly moved to the sea or to the desert on the Libyan border. Without water or food, some were even sometimes parked in unsanitary buildings. And if, according to Kaïs Saïed, this information is “fake news” coming from “foreign agents”, even Human Rights Watch indicates that the police have “gathered hundreds of black African migrants and asylum seekers , including children, and abandoned them in the desert”.
Complaint by the World Organization Against Torture
It is now impossible to hide behind false information. Because the macabre discovery of these last days shows the delicacy of the situation of the Sub-Saharans. Two bodies of migrants have indeed been found in a desert area on the border between Tunisia and Algeria. The first would have died ten days ago, the second only forty-eight hours ago. Witnesses tell how convoys regularly drop sub-Saharan migrants in desert areas.
And the videos circulating also show women giving birth in no man's lands, without any medical assistance. Several migrants say they were "beaten up like animals". "Sending them back to Libya, which is not a safe country, making sure to clear customs because the migrants are in no man's land, it's quite simply shameful", summarizes a member of the civil society.
The World Organization Against Torture has decided to file a complaint against Tunisia, after being seized by a victim. The latter claims to have been deprived of her rights, to have been arrested without reason but above all to have been hit with an iron bar, before being expelled to the Libyan border.