Published by Redazione Mediterranea | 29 / Jul / 2023

Urgent call for justice and human rights regarding illegal expulsions and the tragic loss of life

On Saturday 29 July, a demonstration called by Refugees in Libya, the Tunisian Rights Activists Collective and Mediterranea Saving Humans, together with Milanese anti-racist activists, was held in front of the Tunisian Consulate in Milan, to demand to the Libyan and Tunisian authorities that the bodies of Fati Dosso and her daughter Marie, who died of hunger and thirst in the desert between Libya and Tunisia, be returned to Côte d'Ivoire, their country of origin, and that light be shed on the responsibilities behind their deaths.

Below is the appeal sent by Refugees in Libya to the Tunisian and European authorities, also signed by Mediterranea Saving Humans.

To the Tunisian and European authorities,

We write to you with deep concern about the illegal mass expulsions of sub-Saharanə Africans to the deserts of Libya and Algeria. These violent offensives have caused a serious humanitarian crisis. Men, women and childrenə have been abandoned in the scorching desert heat without access to food and water.

We have learned tragically that at least twenty people, including several childrenə, have died of thirst and heat. The bodies of these victims were recovered by the Libyan border authorities and the Libyan Red Crescent at the Libyan-Tunisian border. Among these victims, we mourn the loss of Fatima Dosso, 30, an Ivorian citizen, and her 6-year-old daughter Marie.

They died because of the unbearable conditions they were subjected to after being expelled from Ben Gardane on 15 July. We call on the European Parliament, the European Commission and Meloni's government to investigate the circumstances of Fatima Dosso and Marie's death. Meanwhile, Pato, grieving father and husband, demands justice.

We are deeply discouraged to see that Europe has concluded a multi-million dollar agreement with Tunisia to manage migration and deter people from crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

This agreement is of serious concern to us as Tunisia is known to violate human rights. Europe should not enter into agreements with countries that do not respect human rights.

The consequences of this agreement are obvious: Tunisia has already expelled at least 3,000 people in a few weeks.

The level of repression against journalists in Tunisia who document and denounce the inhuman treatment inflicted on sub-Saharan immigrants is disturbing. The repression of press freedom further exacerbates an already disastrous situation.

We condemn the European migration policy and its agreement with Tunisia, which has led to these serious human rights violations. We call on the European Commission, the Dutch and Italian governments not to make any support for Tunisia conditional on the Tunisian authorities' respect for human rights and to cease all cooperation as long as these violations continue. Furthermore, we condemn

strongly condemn the racist speech made by Tunisian President Kais Saied earlier this year, which caused unrest, hatred and loss of life among Africanə people of sub-Saharan origin.

Once again, we urgently call for justice for Fatima Dosso, her daughter Marie and all those who have been unlawfully expelled from Tunisia. We call on the Tunisian and European authorities to take immediate action to prevent these human rights violations, identify those responsible and provide support for the victims. It is their duty under international law and before the whole of humanity.

We call on the European Union and its member states to evacuate all the victims trapped in Tunisia to Europe as soon as possible, avoiding the risk of being deported to the desert or to dangerous areas or being forced to cross the Mediterranean.

The world is watching us, and it is our common responsibility to uphold the principles of dignity, justice and care for all, regardless of their origin.

Sincerely,

Refugees in Libya

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