Unemployed former fisherman Chamseddine Marzouz digs a grave at a make-shift cemetary for migrants on July 12, 2017 in the Tunisian coastal twon of Zarzis. AFP / FATHI NASRI
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Armed with just a spade, Chamseddine Marzoug is determined to give a dignified burial to migrants who drowned in waters off his Tunisian hometown trying to reach Europe.The unemployed former fisherman, who also previously worked as a driver for the Red Crescent, says he has buried hundreds of dead migrants in the past 12 years.Since the start of this year, 126 people of different nationalities have been rescued in the waters off Zarzis, according to official figures.But the bodies of 44 migrants have also been retrieved. Tunisia's coast guard often rescues migrants from sinking vessels and even pulls the drowned from the sea, but says burying the dead is beyond the call of duty. Instead, Marzoug has obtained official permission to bury the migrants in a makeshift burial ground far from the town's homes and next to a garbage dump.Marzoug has called on the authorities to set up what he calls a "real" cemetery for the migrants who died at sea.
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