Mohamed Guefassa remains missing since 2016 arrest by Tunisian coastguard

Mohamed Guefassa remains missing since 2016 arrest by Tunisian coastguard

Mohamed Guefassa was arrested by the Tunisian coastguard while attempting to reach Sardinia, Italy on October 2, 2016. Since then, the Tunisian authorities have refused to disclose any information on his fate and whereabouts.

Mohamed Guefassa, a 23-year-old Algerian from the region of Wilaya d'El Tarf, was arrested while trying to reach Sardinia by boat on October 2, 2016. He and 15 other individuals were intercepted in Tunisian territorial waters after having left Algeria.  

Tunisian fishermen who witnessed the arrest informed Guefassa’s brother about what had happened, saying that the group was transferred to Tunisia and incarcerated. Two months later, the families received phone calls from their missing relatives confirming that they were detained in Tunisia.

Guefassa’s family was informed in 2017 that he had been seen at a prison in El Kef by another inmate who had been arrested with Guefassa. Following Guefassa’s disappearance, his family enquired about his fate and whereabouts at the Tunisian prison directorate, but his name could not be found in their database. They also went to El Kef prison, but his name was not found in the detainees’ registry. They visited several other facilities, where the prison authorities denied he was being detained on their premises. They also tried to enquire about Guefassa’s fate and whereabouts via diplomatic channels, including meeting the Tunisian ambassador to Algeria, but to no avail.


May 15, 2019: MENA Rights Group requests intervention of UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances.
2017: Guefassa is last seen at Kef prison by another inmate who was arrested with him.
October 2, 2016: Arrested by Tunisian coastguard while attempting to reach Sardinia by boat.