Hundreds dead at sea following standoff in Europe

Libya Jails

Libya Jails

from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) SOME 1 151 vulnerable men, women and children have died and over 10 000 more forcibly returned to Libya a year after the first political stand-off over the fate of people rescued in the Central Mediterranean Sea.

Italy’s decision to close its seaports to humanitarian vessels sparked the deadlock. Most victims were forcibly returned to war-torn Libya.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or Doctors Without Borders) and SOS Mediterranee, a maritime-humanitarian organisation, said the avoidable deaths exposed the human cost of reckless European migration policies.

“The response by European governments to the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean Sea and Libya has been a race to the very bottom,” said Annemarie Loof, MSF Operational Manager.

She pleaded for an end to the de-humanisation of vulnerable people at sea for alleged political gain.

“Yet one year on, the European response has reached deplorable new lows,” Loof said.

This week, the United High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) raised concern at a recent decree from the government of Italy containing several provisions affecting refugees and migrants, including fines for vessels engaged in saving lives at sea.

Roland Schilling, UNHCR regional representative, said at a time when European states largely withdrew from rescue efforts in the Central Mediterranean, NGO vessels were more crucial than ever.

“Without them (vessels), it is inevitable that more lives will be lost,” Schilling said.

– CAJ News

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Posted by on Jun 14 2019. Filed under Africa & World, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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