The Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa and Commissioner in charge of the promotion and protection of human rights in the Republic of Tunisia, Honourable Commissioner Maya Sahli Fadel, is deeply concerned about the situation of sub-Saharan migrants deported to the Libyan desert subsequent to a roundup that followed the murder of a Tunisian citizen by migrants.
The Special Rapporteur condemns this murder and offers her condolences to the grieving family.
She also condemns the treatment meted out to migrants, particularly the confusion over their status which led to their deportation to the Libyan desert, which amounts to cruel and inhuman treatment.
The Special Rapporteur reminds the Tunisian authorities that the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights obliges States to take all necessary measures to ensure respect for the rights contained therein. This includes respect for human dignity, the security of the human person and protection against all forms of discrimination, including that based on race.
Finally, the Special Rapporteur recalls that anyone can become a migrant at any time and that the status of regular or irregular migrant cannot deprive a person of the dignity due to him or her as a human being.
The Special Rapporteur calls on the Tunisian authorities to respect the rights guaranteed by the African Charter by ensuring the protection of migrants on its soil and refraining from deporting them to the desert without any assistance.
She also invite them to develop a discourse of appeasement with the population to avoid an escalation of violence.
Banjul on 11 July 2023
Commissioner Maya Sahli Fadel
Vice-Chairperson of the African Commission
Commissioner for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Republic of Tunisia
Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa