ARREST OF REJECTED ASYLUM SEEKERS DURING PROTEST IN FRONT OF THE E.U DELEGATION BUILDING

Image  We left Choucha on Sunday night 02/02/ 2014,arrived Monday early hours and moved to the E.U building for our protest manifestation against the inhuman situations facing the camp.From the hour of 6:45am at the front of the building,we started facing police repression,a connection was made to the police head department that sent some of the staffs who came,met us, with no comment read what was written on our banners through a radio messenger to the head office.At 2:27pm the security chief came to us and finalized to meet with the responsible(the ambassador to be precised)after his interrogations with us and will get back to us,but he did not report back to us after his meeting.Tuesday 4/02/2014 the director general of human right affairs who we have been in contact with in the office addressed us and his conclusion with us was to discuss with the ambassador and get back to us either the same day or next being Wednesday,till our arrest we did not get any feed back from him.Though there was a lady from the building whose identity was not disclosed to us who asked us to go and squat in a church,that she already contacted her friend there, that Wednesday night and we refused the proposal,Wednesday through Thursday no comment from the office,we keep reminding the securities(police)guards on duty to check at the human right director in order for us to hear from the ambassador,but they keep coming back with one point that they are busy with meetings.On Friday 7/02/2014 in the morning the lady that asked us to go and squat in the church came and insisted(reiterate) on that same point,if not the police will intervene on our stay in front of the building,we responded to her according to our 3-4years ordeal living in the desert camp.We demanded an understanding of all our previous meetings(reminiscence) concerning our legal status and the last letter we were told they sent to brussels during the world social forum that we made a demonstration to the building,at the same time our demand;TO BE ACCORDED RESETTLEMENT IN A SAFE THIRD COUNTRY WITH EFFECTIVE ASYLUM SYSTEM NOT INTEGRATION IN TUNISIA,she explained to us the meeting they held with the UNHCR on Thursday 6/02 and their response is that,they are not responsible nor the E.U as well,she left us with a threatening remark(that if we don’t leave the police will intervene) after being abandoned in the camp to die.Between the hours of 1-2pm Mrs Illaria Mussetti addressed us on the same point and the same answer;that they are not the responsible,we insisted,because they are one of the entity that made up the international community,they are among the body responsible for our situation,therefore they had to find a durable solution to our inhuman situation.
On friday 7/02,three(3)different groups of police on consecutive occasions came to us in front of the building and for the first two groups,they asked us to leave front of the building if not they are going to convey us to the prison,the last entourage that came that night was for the police chief’s and head of officer’s,including other set that join them up after some minutes.According to the police chief who adressed us that night;a meeting with the France president and other dignitaries,including 40 NGOs and journalists will be taking place in the building at 8am on saturday 8/02 and pleaded with us to clear up the place and be ready to negotiate with those coming the next day,we did clear up the place that night,saturday through sunday no visit to the office.
On sunday 9/02 the head of office lac police division came to us and said we are invited to the minister of external for a meeting,which we told him no office work on sunday,he said hence our situation is vulnerable,the minister want to have a discussion with us,finally they took us to one of the national guard zonal quarters(wardiya)where we were ex-communicated immediately and locked-up after a registration of our names,nationalities and file numbers for a clearance confirmation from the UNHCR.On wednesday 12/02 we embarked on hunger strike demanding the reason for our arrest, the first reason from the colonel for our arrest is protesting without permission,which we gave him an example of protest with permission during the Tunisian world social forum(THE BITTER EXPERIENCE),still we were blocked from not going,the head of national guard bengardene who was following up as well withdrew immediately and the money we paid for the transportations was confiscated by the bus management,he never said a word.So therefore we need our freedom from the detention centre,the colonel finalized by saying according to his experienc in office,we will be released before monday 17-18/02 the following week
On thurdays 13/02 Oliver and Rubai who introduced himself as an expert on human right visited us with a proposal we refused.Monday 17/02,Oliver,Jonathan and a lady by name Hajia visited and again we turned down the proposal for the second time.On friday 21/02 the colonel explained to us reasons for delay to his response presenting to us some fax letters he sent to the UNHCR,E.U and some of the Tunisian ministers,which the Interior was one of them,he stated that though the government has their internal(security)issues as a priority,secondly the discussion of the twenty arrested asylum seekers,he further said from the presidency,prime minister and the parliament are deliberating on our issues at the moment.That same friday one of us embarked on an indefinite hunger strike which led to a general hunger strike and protest action inside the detention on monday 24/02 in demand for our freedom,the colonel then came with some group of police to force us back inside the rooms that monday evening,and then sent for a delegation of six persons in his office,he presented a questionaire for each of the twenty members that we refused.The questions as follows;
First name,
Surname,
Profession,
Marital status,
Place of birth,
Nationality,
How did you come into tunis?
When did you come into tunis?
Where are your legal documents,with UNHCR OR?
Where did you obtain your last legal documents?
Where are your family members?
What was your experiences,dealing with NGOs?
What is your demand?
That finally he is going to send them to the Interior minister,we recommended him back to the UNHCR,hence our files are there for any investigations.
On monday 3/03,we met with the colonel and pressurized the demand for our freedom,he explained efforts from the government to grant our release.The second point from him was that,our arrest was a call from the E.U ambassador to the interior minister who ordered for our arrest,he said our arrest reflected the direction of our legal arguments,so the interior alongside the E.U are having a discussion in respect to our demand,but for how long he cannot specify.
Tuesday 4/03 Abderrahmane hedhili(president FTDES and secretary tunisian human right league),alongside Vice president tunisian human right league and member of the FTDES,both visited.After the introduction they explained briefly how a conference was held and letters sent to the interior and prime minister,but till their visit no response from the ministers and that they will continue denouncing the arrest.We expressed our dissapointment,that it is painful and shameful after three years of the camp existence the right we got from the decision makers is detention.And we asked them if the order for our arrest was right?their response was NO,NOT RIGHT.The minister is fully aware of the humanitarian,legal violations of our rights he did not interfer positively to the humanitarian disaster while languishing in the tunisian border desert and we made the move to the responsible,he ordered for our arrest without investigations.Lastly we clearify them a point,we are not demanding residence or work permit from the tunisian government our demand should be appropriated to the responsible and for them to ask the government to give us our freedom as we are going back to the E.U delegation building.
Friday night 7/03 at about 9pm they brought a bus with some uniform police,immigration and soldiers,called our names and asked us to move in the bus,we demand to know where they were taking us with the armed police officers,they did not disclose rather urge us to move in,when we got to Choucha we asked their chief to clearify us the reason for our return to the camp and to explain to us the legal agreement behind our return,because its against our will,an order he responded and they drove off immediately.All the negotiations from the government and NGOs,is about some temporary solution e.g providing us with accomodations in the capital city,local integration,providing us with a bus to go back to Choucha,which we refused and insist on going back to the same spot we where arrested

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