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TUNISIA: SUB-SAHARAN MIGRANTS DEPORTED TO THE LIBYAN DESERT ARE CAUSING CONCERN – AU OFFICIALS

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APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) 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, Maya Sahli Fadelexpressed deep concern over the situation of sub-Saharan African migrants deported to the Libyan desert subsequent to a roundup that followed the murder of a Tunisian citizen by migrants.

The Special Rapporteur condemned this murder and offers her condolences to the grieving family, the African Union said on Tuesday in a statement.

She also condemned 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 recalled 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 reminds 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 also called 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 invited them to develop a discourse of appeasement with the population to avoid an escalation of violence.

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