Memoria Mediterranea

Hamdi Besbes (2020)


Hamdi Besbes, a Tunisian native of Monastir, disappeared in the waters off Lampedusa in July 2020. Hamdi was on a Tunisian fishing boat with other fishermen. The boat, upon reaching Lampedusa, was seized and its crew arrested, but Hamdi never made it ashore and was never found.

Hamdi was a mechanic and an avid swimmer. He loved the sea and his passion was scuba diving in which he had become an expert after many courses held in the waters of Monastir.

Hamdi’s brothers and sisters were his closest friends with whom he had an intense and special relationship. In Hamdi’s future was the possibility of working in a local, under-the-radar establishment on the city’s waterfront that his parents had renovated to use as a café.

Since Hamdi’s disappearance, his mother Awatef and his family-his father Mohsen and sister Sarra-have traveled to Italy several times to search for him and to talk with the relevant lawyer and prosecutor’s office.

To date, Hamdi’s is still an open case as the investigation in Italy is still ongoing and no further information has emerged. The biggest obstacle to discovering the truth was the Tunisian prosecutor’s office’s total lack of cooperation with the Italian one. The two institutions conducted the investigations separately. Moreover, on the Tunisian side, attempts to cover up the truth have emerged, slowing down the investigation.
The family has tried to curb the red herrings and bureaucratic slowness in every way and with the support of associations, activistə and solidalə continues to press for Hamdi’s story to be neither forgotten nor hidden and for the truth to be arrived at.

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