Press Release: The ordeal continues for the 40 people on board the Sarost V

Europe, Migration and Asylum, Press Release, Tunisia

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Press Release

Brussels, 27 July 2018

The two-week ordeal continues for the 40 people currently on board the Sarost V.

The migrants, recovered by a Tunisian vessel after they were found adrift within Malta’s search and rescue area, are currently anchored a few miles off the Tunisian shore and are facing a significant shortage of water, food and medical supplies.

Commenting on the issue, EuroMed Rights President Wadih Al-Asmar said:

This case shows once again how the EU’s external borders transform the Mediterranean into scenes of humanitarian tragedies to which the EU, together with its Member States, bear a large responsibility.

EuroMed Rights urges the Tunisian authorities to urgently ensure that the migrants get the needed humanitarian and medical help including by allowing them to disembark in Tunisia. At the same time it should be clear that Tunisia is not a safe country for asylum seekers and migrants as long as it does not have a proper asylum law. The ‘safe country’ concept refers to safety from persecution, which means that a working and fair asylum system is in place in the country and this is reportedly not the case for Tunisia. EuroMed Rights also asks the United Nations Refugee Agency to take care of the migrants once they disembark on Tunisian soil.