More than 800 Tunisian migrants have been detained in the Spanish enclave of Melilla for more than 5 months, Tunesian NGO Ftdes claims.
According to Romdhane Ben Amor of the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (Ftdes), "over 800 undocumented Tunisian migrants including women and children have been detained for more than five months in inhuman and humiliating conditions at the Melilla temporary residence for immigrants in Spain," Tap news agency reported.
"Migrants housed in cluttered and dirty plastic tents"
In a statement, Amor said that the migrants are housed in cluttered and dirty plastic tents, exposed to cold and lack of food. He said that the migrants had applied for asylum in Spain, but have not received any response to their requests. The migrants had reportedly also staged a sit-in but neither the Spanish nor Tunisian authorities reacted.
Many migrants in Africa attempt to reach Europe through the Spanish enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta. The two territories are part of the European Union, but located on the African continent.
"A violation of international conventions”
Amor said that "the migrants have contacted the Ftdes to launch a distress call to international public opinion to get them out of this lamentable situation, considering that their detention in these conditions is a violation of international conventions that stipulate mobility."
Despite multiple attempts to contact one of its officials, the Tunisian Foreign Ministry has not yet commented on the matter.