Appeal for Jalila

Article first published on March 29, 2021

Let’s help Jalila to repatriate her children’s bodies.

At the end of November 2019, Hedi and Mehdi Khenissi, two brothers, who were then 24 and 22 years old, have left Tunisia on board a small fishing vessel directed to Europe. Hedi had planned to join her girlfriend in Roubaix to start a new life there.

Between December 31st and January 15th, 2020, bodies have been found on various Sicilian beaches. Only two months later Jalila, Hedi’s and Mehdi’s mother, discovered through the press that the bodies were those of her two children.

Sicilian newspapers did not hesitate to criminalize the two brothers, claiming that they were drug traffickers.

Their bodies have been buried anonymously in Sicily. For over a year, Jalila has been tirelessly fighting to repatriate her children’s bodies to Tunisia and to ensure them a proper funeral. After an initial visa rejection for Italy, the impossibility to have access to the autopsy, and months of postponements, Jalila finally managed to reach Sicily.

Although the law holds the Tunisian State responsible for the repatriation of the bodies of its citizens at its own expense, the authorities ask for the large sum of 6,000 euro per person, 12,000 euro in total.

While continuing to promote a deathly “border regime” and the expansion of a real “migration business”, these disappearances are the direct consequences of the migration policies of the European Union and its partners.

Regardless of the amount, all contributions of those who can donate are welcome to help the family Khenissi to repatriate the bodies of Hedi and Mehdi, so that they can finally rest in peace.


Accoglienza ControVento

Borderline Sicilia



Rete Antirazzista Catanese

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Translated by Elena Baggetta