03.04.2013 | Email campaign to UNHCR: Hungerstrike in front of the UNHCR / Tunis - several Refugees in Hospital
As you probably acknowledge, recognized Refugees from Choucha Refugee Camp have been on hungerstrike in front of the UNHCR office in Tunis since Friday, the 29.03.2013. I am writing to you, as I am very worried about the state of health of these persons and think that it is UNHCRs responsability to urgently find a solution for them. Furthermore, I learned that the Camp will close at the end of May 2013. Those Refugees will then take part of an “Integration Programme”, in some southern cities in Tunisia. This integration of Refugees in the tunisian society already gave signs of failure, as the protest of the Refugees, that had been “integrated” in Medenine, in front of the UNHCR office in Zarzis showed already. They were attacked verbally and physically by locals because of their skin colour and religious beliefs. They do not feel safe in Tunisia and they want a real and effective protection system.
They have been recognized as Refugees by the UNHCR, thus it is clear that they are in need of international protection. Apparently, Tunisia is at this moment unable to assure this security due to post-revolution unrests and the lack of a functioning asylum system.
According to UNHCR policy, Refugees arriving at Choucha Camp before 01.12.2011 had the right to be included into the Resettlement Programme. Many within this group have arrived after this date because they were not allowed to enter Tunisia, although they had already passed the Libyan border. This should not be hold against them and determine their future.
I support the demand of the refugees in hungerstrike, to be resettled to a third country with working protection systems for refugees!
As the Situation is getting more serious from day to day and numbers of hungerstriking Refugees have been taken to hospital already, I urge the UNHCR to take action right away in order to find a safe solution for these persons, taking in account the hungerstrikers conditions at this very moment!
UNHCR Germany and Austria:
UNHCR Geneve (headquarter):
fax number: +41 22 739 7377