Mobs assault two shelters in Tunis for homosexual and transgender individuals from sub-Saharan Africa

A gaggle of males wielding sticks and knives attacked a shelter for LGBTQ refugees and asylum-seekers from sub-Saharan Africa on February 23.

Police known as to the location arrested no less than eight individuals from sub-Saharan Africa, regardless that they’ve refugee standing as authorized residents of Tunisia.

That is the newest violence going down in a local weather of rising hostility in direction of black Africans, prompted by a crackdown by the authorities and xenophobic feedback made by the Tunisian president.

A gaggle of males attacked a shelter for LGBT refugees and asylum-seekers from sub-Saharan Africa in Ariana, a northern suburb of Tunis, on the night time of Thursday (February twenty third).

For the residents of the shelter, it was an evening of sheer horror. Many had been overwhelmed and others had knife wounds. About thirty individuals had been arrested that night time, together with no less than six individuals in possession of refugee playing cards from the United Nations.

This was not the primary assault of its form. Just a few days in the past, on Monday, February 20, one other group attacked one other shelter for LGBT refugees from sub-Saharan Africa, this one is positioned in Bab El Khadra, within the heart of the capital, Tunis.

The JowharObservers workforce spoke with two refugees who had been there throughout the assault in Ariana on February 23.

The proprietor’s son threatened to evict us. The subsequent day, he returns with an armed mob. Shiraz (not her actual identify) is a transgender refugee from a rustic in sub-Saharan Africa. We don’t use her actual identify to guard her integrity. She was on the shelter in Ariana on February 23 when she was attacked by the mob.

On the night of February 23, the house owner’s son got here, desirous to evict everybody residing within the shelter. The night time earlier than, he had stood in entrance of the constructing and threatened us.

This younger man, who our observers say is the son of the proprietor of the home, threw a stone on the individual photographing from the balcony. Shouting an obscene insult, the younger man instructed the individual to “go dwelling,” an added insult to the refugee neighborhood. “I will discover you within the a**gap. Not tonight, however what until I catch you tomorrow, you shit,” he provides.

I do not stay on this shelter however we determined to huddle collectively in an house for security after the assault on one other shelter for LGBT individuals from sub-Saharan Africa on February twentieth.

We had been about 35 or 36 individuals within the house that night time, all blacks from sub-Saharan Africa. The house owner’s son, who usually says racist and homophobic issues to us refugees, got here on the night time of February twenty third with a number of different Tunisian males. They tried to open the door with a duplicate of our keys however ended up smashing it.

They grabbed my hair onerous sufficient to drag off a few of my locks and stab a number of individuals. Different individuals had been overwhelmed and punched within the face.

These photographs present the place Shiraz’s hair was plucked. She was additionally injured in her foot and leg. Her accidents had been attributable to Tunisian males who attacked the shelter on the night time of February 23. © Picture despatched by our Observer “As an alternative of arresting the lads who attacked us, the police took us away”

The police got here later, however as a substitute of arresting the lads who assaulted us, they took us to Bordj Lozier police station [Ariana, a suburb of Tunis, NDLR]!

On the police station, we confirmed them our UNHCR refugee playing cards. Nonetheless, the police instructed us that they thought our papers had been cast.

This video, filmed on the night time of February 23, exhibits a crowd of Tunisian males gathered in entrance of a constructing the place refugees from sub-Saharan Africa used to stay. You can even see two police vehicles in addition to uniformed brokers.

So as to deflect the scenario, I instructed the police that I used to be an artist from sub-Saharan Africa and claimed that my present look was an “inventive” look that I had been cultivating. I needed to lie about my gender as a result of I used to be frightened about an anti-transgender assault by the police. Lastly, they launched seven of the eight of us who had refugee playing cards.

Nonetheless, individuals with out refugee playing cards stay in detention.

Lee’s transgender pal remains to be in detention, although she has refugee standing. In line with my data, she has been transferred to the Wardieh Immigrant Detention Heart [Editor’s note: Formally, this Tunis establishment is known as a reception and orientation centre for migrants, however rampant human rights abuses there have been reported by both the media and NGOs].

I’ve had no information of her since then.

We stay in worry of being arrested or overwhelmed up on the street so I do not exit anymore. As a black trans girl, it’s actually troublesome for me to search out lodging in Tunisia. You come throughout landlords who need sexual favours, or typically individuals kick us out after they understand we’re trans. Even with the assistance of UNHCR, it will probably take time to search out lodging.

Shiraz was given a spot in a shelter run by the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on February 28. The Tunisian Workplace of the Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights additionally paid for medical take care of these wounded within the assault.

“Brian” (not his actual identify) is one other LGBT refugee from sub-Saharan Africa. He was wounded throughout the February 20 assault and is now homeless.

The police tore up our refugee playing cards and known as us the day after the assault. I used to be on the police station all day. We had been mistreated – they insulted us and made us sit on the ground. The officers tore up the refugee playing cards of a few of the individuals they’d arrested. Luckily, I didn’t find yourself in jail, not like a few of my associates.

Given the scenario proper now, it is already harmful to stroll down the road as a black individual. However now, after they see our refugee playing cards, they know we’re homosexual or transgender and insult us and name us names.

At this time, most people who used to stay in these shelters are on the streets. About 15 of them had been piled into an house nonetheless underneath development. We’re afraid and do not exit anymore.

We’ve contacted our consulates and embassies for assist, however they instructed us that they can’t assist us as a result of we’ve got refugee standing from UNHCR.

An Algerian LGBT refugee in Tunisia won’t really feel focused, however black individuals are usually the goal of assaults. . The group is attempting to offer authorized support to the victims of the wave of repression in Tunisia.

When there are arrests of this nature, IDAHO tries to search out out if they’re associated to somebody’s sexual orientation or gender identification. Many individuals have been arrested regardless that they’re refugees. Typically the police confiscate their papers and passports and tear them up.

the [xenophobic] The statements made by the president made issues utterly totally different and critical. It obtained so dangerous that some taxi drivers would take a black man straight to the police station if he obtained into his automotive. We have come up to now.

A homosexual refugee from Algeria residing in Tunisia won’t really feel focused, however black individuals are usually the targets of assaults and threats. The shelters the place these individuals keep are separate and never official. Nonetheless, when the police discover them, they have an inclination to blow the whole lot up – destroying individuals’s properties and private belongings.

This refugee sustained accidents to his face and fingers throughout an assault on a shelter in Bab Al Khadra on 20 February. © Pictures despatched to us by our Observer The Workplace of the Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights must open corridors for these individuals to journey to the West. These individuals have already suffered oppression by the hands of the state or the general public. However the procedures for attending to Europe or North America are troublesome. It’s a must to present a whole lot of proof [of persecution] This takes time.

UNHCR ought to actually allow individuals to use for asylum in different nations the place they face persecution. As a result of, proper now, if you wish to declare asylum, you truly should get to the nation you wish to be in your self and apply as soon as there.

This publish in French by Amal Bint Nadia interprets roughly as follows: “In entrance of the Worldwide Group for Migration in Tunisia, a whole lot of migrants, girls and youngsters, together with injured individuals, have been attacked, have seen their properties ransacked… They’re asking to be repatriated and have waited weeks for permission from Worldwide Group for Migration”.

We invite individuals to share any helpful data with us Our workforce has contacted a number of organizations devoted to LGBTQ rights in Tunisia, however none had data on the destiny of the undocumented LGBT individuals arrested on February 23.

Many immigrants have no idea something about their rights. Moreover, individuals throughout the sub-Saharan LGBTQ neighborhood are extra fearless. In consequence, the Tunisian NGO Damij, which is devoted to combating for minority rights, is asking the general public to assist determine individuals who want authorized and social help. Najia Mansour, who runs the department in Tunis and its environs, explains:

Even the Chief Blacksmith was attacked on the street.

We’ve arrange three emergency telephone strains relying on the world of ​​the nation the place individuals are – one in Tunis, for individuals within the north, one in Sfax, for individuals within the south, and one in El Kef, within the heart of the nation. We invite individuals to share any data they might have about migrants in problem.

Oftentimes, we have to look ahead to the sufferer to be launched with a view to present them with authorized help. In the meanwhile it is an imperfect system, however work – we’ll look ahead to the individual to be launched after which file an administrative grievance about ill-treatment and torture by the hands of the authorities.

The Jowharobservers tried to contact the police in Soukra and Bordj Lozier, however they instructed us to contact the Ministry of the Inside.

We tried a number of occasions to contact the Ministry of Inside, however to no avail. We are going to publish their response in the event that they get again to us.

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