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Fight against terrorism does not mean violation of migrants' rights according to the FTDES

Migrants rescued by the Tunisian police in 2015 at the port of Zarzis (photo: IOM)
Migrants rescued by the Tunisian police in 2015 at the port of Zarzis (photo: IOM)
TUNISIA. In a communication published on Tuesday 3 November 2020, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) says yes to the fight against terrorism, but no to the violation of migrants' rights.

The association "affirms its condemnation of terrorism, extremism and all the complicit rhetoric that justifies this crime and renews its adherence to human rights and humanitarian values. Today, we also express our concern about the escalation of expressions of hatred towards migrants and towards organisations defending the rights of migrants and their workers".

FTDES members point out that "some parties seek to exploit the concerns and fears of citizens on the northern shore of the Mediterranean to ensure a political repositioning in favour of their programmes. European governments are also taking advantage of these tragedies to exert more pressure, particularly on Tunisia, to cooperate more in the area of the forced expulsion of irregular migrants. And while the Italian government has obtained unlimited Tunisian cooperation in the field of forced expulsion and has managed to double the number of expellees, from October 2020, French media sources reported that Tunisia has agreed to grant consular authorisations for the forced expulsion of immigrants from France".

The Forum calls on the Tunisian government not to "sign any agreement or commitment that could constitute a serious violation of migrants' rights in the current circumstances". In its declaration, it states that "the need to fight terrorism is reinforced by the dissemination of the values of human rights, solidarity, peace, a culture of acceptance of others and the guarantee of freedoms and just cooperation in the Mediterranean".

Eric Apim

Wednesday, November 4th 2020

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