Tamim Jaboudi is nearly three-years-old. The young Tunisian is said to be stranded in a prison in neighbouring Libya and his grandfather, Faouzi Jaboudi, claims to have made repeated bids to gain his release.
Tamim’s parents are believed to have left Tunisia to join ISIL. Reports differ on their fate, but he is said to be alone.
“The first time we met at the guard’s offices he didn’t want to approach me. He hugged the warden there, who he knows very well and is used to. They told me that they love Tamim and feel for him because his parents aren’t there,” said Faouzi.
He says Tamim is being raised in detention in Tripoli by a woman who willingly joined ISIL.
They and dozens of other women and children are said to be being held by RADA, the Libyan Special Forces of Deterrence which are currently allied with the UN-backed government in the Libyan capital.
But Tripoli and Tunis are reportedly not communicating about those held.
NGO the Rescue Association of Tunisians Trapped Abroad, is working to help those stranded.
“ISIL works on three levels: short, medium and long term. In the short term, it worked on recruitment – getting young people to leave their country for Libya, and especially Syria and Iraq. After that, it was the departure of entire families,” said Mohammed Iqbel, the head of the NGO.
Tunisian authorities recently agreed to visit the detention centre, but have questioned how many of those held are actually Tunisian. Human Rights Watch says none of the detainees have valid ID papers, meaning Tamim’s future remains unclear.