Tunisian delegation to visit Libya, soon, to bring back Tunisian children held in this country
03/03/2017 17:24, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) – A Tunisian delegation will visit Libya, in the next two days, to bring back Tunisian children held in Mitiga prison in Tripoli and possibly Mesrata Hospital, Director General of Consular Affairs at the Foreign Ministry Chafik Hajj Friday said.

“The delegation, made up of representatives of six ministries, is expected to travel on Sunday or the following two days,” he noted.

Led by the General Consul of Tunisia in Tripoli, the delegation is to include one representative of the Women, Family and Children Ministry, one of the General Commissioner of Children’s office as well as representatives of ministries of Health, social Affairs, Interior and Justice.

“We have obtained Libyan authorities’ consent to take back these children,” he stressed, noting that “these children’s age does not exceed 5 years.”

According to available information, some 14 Tunisian children are currently in Mitiga prison in Tripoli while 5 others (whose nationalities are still not verified) are being treated in Mosrata hospital.

“If needed, we will opt for a DNA test to verify their relationships,” he pledged.

This visit’s agenda comes following an agreement between Head of the Tunisian diplomacy Khemaies Jhinaoui and Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Accord, Fayez el-Sarraj.

In a statement to TAP on February 15, Jhinaoui said that “this visit will help investigate the possibility of the presence of Tunisian children in Libyan prisons and to bring them home.”

Heard by the parliamentary committee in charge of Tunisian expatriates' affairs on January 16, Chairman of the Rescue Association of Tunisians Trapped Abroad Mohamed Iqbal Ben Rejab called on Tunisian authorities to speed up the repatriation process of children held in Libyan prisons.

“These children’s parents are suspected of terrorism and murder and these children are mainly held in prisons in Syrte and Sebrata,” he pointed out.

According to human rights activist Mustapha Abdelkebir, 13 Tunisian children aged between 2 and 10 are held in Libyan prisons. 5 of them were transfered to centres for the protection of children in Libya and the other 8 are still held in prisons.

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