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Italy: Fleeing Tunisia

Origin: UNHCR
Today's date: February 23, 2011
Title: Italy: Fleeing Tunisia
Source: UNHCR /Edith Champagne/Nadja Korinth
Shot: February 18-19, 2011
Sound: Nats / Arabic
Duration: 2:46
Location: Lampedusa, Italy
Over 6000 Tunisians have landed on the shores of the small Italian island of Lampedusa over the past weeks.

They say they are looking for a better life, and escape the chaos and violence of their country.

This man preferred not to give him name.
CLIP: Unidentified Tunisian
People were attacked every day. Every day you heard that this man or that woman died.”

The few women who made dangerous trip say they fled for their safety. Monia lived in Southern Tunisia. She came with her husband, fearing the worst.

CLIP: MONIA
“I had a good job and car for ten years. But now I couldn't leave the house anymore. Girls were abducted; women were raped in their house. But in Tunisia it is impossible to talk about this. It's impossible for a woman to say that she has been raped. She bears it and keeps quiet.”

But most who have made the journey are men like Houssem. He wants to find work to support his family.

CLIP: HOUSSEM
“Every family in Tunisia needs two people in Europe that can help them, because there are no jobs. That's why we make this journey, and take this risk. Even though we know that many people are dying on the journey .”


Late one evening a rumor spread though the reception camp that France would take the new arrivals.

But it was wishful thinking.

At this maritime museum, now a temporary shelter, UNHCR staff provides information on asylum and international protection.

CLIP: LATIFA Cultural Mediator/Trapani Center
“The people are scared. Even of us, at the moment. They have just arrived, and they don’t know what awaits them here, at this centre. We try to help the, by giving them the information. But even we don’t know what is going to happen to them.”

Some will apply, but most will continue their journeys to other parts of Europe, without papers.

Tunisia’s political turmoil brought an influx of people to this small island. As the unrest spreads across the Middle East, the authorities believe that they will only see more and more people, desperate to escape the poverty and the violence in their countries.


SHOTLIST LAMPEDUSA, Italy

0:00– 0:04 Meditarrenean Sea, boats

0:04 – 0:14 Refugees waiting in line at Lampedusa reception center, Italian police

0:14 – 0:20 Young Tunisian man, Unidentified,
“People were attacked every day. Every day you heard that this man or that woman died.”

0:20 – 0:34 Group of Tunisian men and women talking to UNHCR staff

0:34 – 1:02
Monia, Tunisian
I had a good job and car for ten years. But now I could't leave the house anymore. Girls were abducted, women were raped in their house. But in Tunisia it is impossible to talk about this. It's impossible for a woman to say that she has been raped. She bears it and keeps quiet.”

1:02 – 1:27
Houssem - Tunisian
“Every family in Tunisia needs two people in Europe that can help them, because there are no jobs. That's why we make this journey, and risk dying to come here.

01:28 – 1:40 Lampedusa reception center, people celebrating

01:41 – 1:55
Maritime Museum, Lampedusa, UNHCR team talking to group of Tunisians

01:56 – 02:22
Latifa, Cultural mediator, Trapani Asylum Centre
“The people are scared. Even of us, at the moment. They have just arrived, and they don’t know what awaits them here, at this centre. We try to help the, by giving them the information. But even we don’t know what is going to happen to them.”

02:23 – 02:40 police watching Tunsians board a bus from Reception Centre

02:41 – 02:45 coastguard boat

ENDS

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