Tunisia: Evacuation of the Choucha Camp

Press Release, Statement, Tunisia

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In the aftermath of the forced and sudden evacuation of the Choucha camp on 19 June 2017, the signatory organisations have reiterated their concerns regarding the position adopted by the Tunisian authorities as regards the management of the situation of the individuals that were still in the camp. It is imperative that solutions respectful of fundamental rights be found for all evacuated individuals.

The rushed and forced transfer of a group of 35 individuals to Tunis in harsh conditions and the arbitrary deprivation of their freedom at the Tunis train station for the entire day of 20 June has raised fears of collective arrests, or even deportation operations, as was the case at the border with Algeria in December 2016.

Faced with the authorities’ refusal to manage the situation in observance of the fundamental rights of migrants of refugees in accordance with the international conventions ratified by Tunisia, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the International Convention against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and faced with the UNHCR’s questionable refusal to examine all individual situations with regard to the current context for each individual, the signatory organisation are calling on the Tunisian authorities to:

  • Guarantee the fundamental rights of the persons concerned in terms of access to information, to suspensive appeals and to legal aid for any proceedings initiated concerning them
  • Adopt a national legal framework on asylum and refugee protection and the Draft Law on Racial Discrimination
  • Repeal Act 2004-6 penalising illegal entries and exits to and from the territory, and enact a new legal framework in appliance with migrants’ rights

The signatory organisations are also calling on the international organisations to:

  • Act in emergency to make sure that Tunisian authorities ensure fair treatment in observance of the rights of the persons having remained in Tunisia after the camp was closed.
  • Provide assistance and aid to the individuals for the purpose of improving their living conditions (accommodation, water, food, healthcare)
  • Re-assess asylum applications

Faced with the serious threats of violations of said individuals’ rights, the signatory organisations have established a vigilance and monitoring committee to assess the situation.

Signatory organisations

  1. Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights
  2. Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights
  3. Tunisian Federation for a Citizenship of Two Shores
  4. Committee for the Respect of freedom and Human Rights in Tunisia
  5. Association Citizenship and Liberties
  6. Association of African Students and Interns in Tunisia
  7. Union of African Leaders
  8. Tunis Centre for Migration and Asylum
  9. Tunisian association for Scientific Studies on Health, Population and Migration
  10. Afrique Intelligence
  11. UTOPIA Tunisia
  12. Tunisia Association for the Defence of Children Rights
  13. EuroMed Rights

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