Die 75 Boat-people, die das ägyptische Öl-Plattform-Versorgungsschiff „Maridive“ Ende Mai 2019 in dem Seegebiet vor Libyen und Tunesien gerettet hatte, konnten gestern abend nach zwei Wochen Blockade vor dem Hafen des südtunesischen Zarzis an Land gehen und werden zunächst in der Stadt Sfax untergebracht. Die IOM hat eine Lösung der sogenannten „freiwilligen Rückkehr“, d.h. der zugestimmten Abschiebung in ihre Herkunftsländer, ausgehandelt. Möglicherweise werden sich aber Einige der Boat-people der Abschiebung widersetzen, denn ihr Ziel ist Europa. Die tunesische Regierung hat der Anlandung als in Form einer „humanitären Ausnahme“ zugestimmt. EU-Flüchtlingslager in Tunesien lehnt sie ab.
75 migrants stuck off Tunisia agree to go home
Migrants rescued in Mediterranean, stranded for two weeks off Tunisia will be allowed to disembark after accepting that they will be returned home.
TUNIS – Seventy-five migrants rescued in the Mediterranean and stranded for two weeks off Tunisia will be allowed to disembark after accepting that they will be returned home, the Red Crescent said.
Representatives of the International Organization for Migration are preparing to meet the migrants, to find out what they want to do, before the IOM finances their potential return.
But „it is their choice to return (home) or not“, said Lorena Lando, the head of the IOM in Tunisia.
Egyptian tugboat Maridive 601 rescued the migrants off the southern Tunisian coast in late May after they embarked from Libya […].
The vessel has been anchored since May 31 off the southern port of Zarzis, where authorities have refused to allow the vessel to dock despite an appeal by the boat’s captain.
After a visit by officials from Bangladesh’s embassy, the migrants agreed to return home, according to Mongi Slim, a Red Crescent official.
Red Crescent representatives are preparing to welcome to port 64 Bangladeshis, nine Egyptians, a Moroccan, a Sudanese citizen, who left Zuwara in Libya in late May.
The migrants — which include at least 32 children and unaccompanied minors — are to be transferred to a reception centre in Sfax.
The migrants would return home from Thursday, Slim added.
Last August, another commercial ship, the Sarost 5, was stranded for more than two weeks at sea with 40 migrants that it had rescued.
Worried about creating a precedent, Tunisian authorities said they accepted the migrants as an exception and for „humanitarian“ reasons.
On May 10, 16 migrants — most from Bangladesh — were saved by Tunisian fishermen, after their boat sank, killing around 60 others. Two of those rescued decided to return home. […]
Inzwischen berichtet The Guardian | 19.06.2019 über die mögliche Deportation der Geretteten.
Aid groups, however, who had been demanding an immediate disembarkation in view of the medical emergency onboard, are concerned people may be sent back to Libya or even deported to their home countries after landing in the port of Zarzis. The governor of Medenine had previously said the boat would be allowed to dock only if all the migrants were immediately deported.
“We are happy for the survivors. They are exhausted, some are traumatised, but we will accompany them so that we can finally find respite and reflect on the different alternatives available to them,” said Wajdi Ben Mhamed, head of the International Organisation for Migration’s Zarzis office.
The IOM said its protection team would assist the survivors with “their protection needs and provide, for those who have requested it, assistance for voluntary return to their country of origin’’.
Relatives claim some of the Bangladeshi survivors were told that food, water and medical treatment would be withheld if they did not accept deportation.
Die Autoren, Lorenzo Tondo und Maurice Stierl, fahren fort:
„A dangerous precedent would be set if an agreement was found to deport the rescued to their countries of origin quickly after disembarkation in Tunisia. Aid groups warn that boats like the Maridive 601 tugboat would turn into migrant holding facilities until deportations were arranged with countries of origin. Many more boats could thus turn from places of rescue to prison islands, floating along North African shores.”
Giorgia Linardi, of SeaWatch in Italy said: “After this episode we should reflect on whether Tunisia qualifies as a place of safety, as our sources suggested that the migrants could be immediately repatriated or expelled from the country. The situation aboard the Maridive is very much confronted with the situation faced right now by the SeaWatch vessel with 53 migrants on board which is still floating in front of Italian territorial waters. As of now, the attitude of the Italian authorities is no different from the attitude of the Tunisian authorities towards the Maridive despite the two states having a different framework in terms of protection of human rights and in terms of asylum system in place.”
With sea conditions currently favourable, thousands are preparing to leave Libya, where war and political instability have been aggravated by floods caused by heavy rain. Without rescue boats, however, the number of shipwrecks is likely to rise further. Only two of the 10 NGO rescue boats that were active in the Mediterranean are still present.