Tunisia: Migrants Face “Daily Institutional Violence”

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Tunisia: Migrants Face "Daily Institutional Violence"
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“Daily Institutional Violence” Against Migrants in Tunisia Denounced by OMCT

The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), based in Geneva, has released a report denouncing the “daily institutional violence” faced by migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in Tunisia. The 58-page study, which includes direct testimonies and information from partner NGOs, holds Tunisian authorities responsible for “violations committed on the territory, including border areas.”

The report highlights that Tunisia is facing “continued pressure from Europe to reduce irregular migration in the Mediterranean.” According to OMCT, human rights violations in Tunisia have intensified since February, following a speech by President Kais Saied criticizing the influx of “hordes of illegal migrants.” The situation escalated further this summer with “illegal and forced evictions,” “forced displacements,” and “deportations and expulsions” to Algeria and Libya.

The report also mentions the arrest of hundreds of individuals in Sfax, a hub for illegal departures to Europe, after a fatal altercation involving a Tunisian and nationals from sub-Saharan Africa. Subsequently, “more than a thousand people were displaced to desert areas on the borders with Libya and Algeria.” OMCT estimates that since June, over 5,500 migrants have been expelled to Libya and more than 3,000 to Algeria, with around a hundred deaths reported on the Tunisian-Libyan border. These expulsions have been condemned by the UN but denied by Tunisian authorities.

OMCT expresses concern over the “inhumane living conditions” endured by migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers near Sfax, suggesting that these conditions “may constitute torture and ill-treatment.” The organization also criticizes the Tunisian authorities for their failure to protect these individuals, citing “undignified living conditions, without access to basic services, employment, and sources of income.”

Piers Potter

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