Alarming Report Reveals Systematic Violence Against Migrants in Tunisia

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In a shocking report titled “Les routes de la torture” (“The Roads of Torture”), published on Monday, December 18, by the World Organization Against Torture, Tunisia’s status as a haven for migrants is questioned. The report sheds light on the escalating violence against migrants during the year 2023, following a controversial speech by President Kais Saied on irregular migration.

The conclusion drawn in the report by the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) is unequivocal, Tunisia can no longer be deemed a secure destination for migrants. The key factors contributing to this alarming assessment include the denial of access to justice for sub-Saharan migrants and the impunity granted to their aggressors in the face of numerous violations this year.

Through detailed cartography, testimonials, and data compilations, the organization meticulously documents two phases—July-August and September-October—of institutional and systematic violence against migrants.

The report outlines a typology of violations, highlighting well-known incidents such as arbitrary and forced displacement to border areas during the summer. It also catalogs psychological and physical violence, police mistreatment, the inability to file complaints, and the denial of human rights, all within a context of rising racism and xenophobia.

The study explicitly condemns the responsibility of Tunisian state authorities for the violence occurring both within the country and at its borders. The international context plays a significant role, with the report noting constant pressure from Europe on Tunisia to curb irregular migration in the Mediterranean. Despite border pushbacks and a security-focused policy, migratory flows persist, with over a hundred migrants entering Tunisia daily through land borders.

The revelations in this report underscore the urgent need for accountability, human rights protection, and a comprehensive approach to address the complex challenges associated with migration in Tunisia. As the international community grapples with these issues, the report serves as a call to action to reevaluate policies and ensure the safety and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their migration status.

Soukaina Sghir

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