EU leaders urged to stop sending migrants back to Libya

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LIBYA – European Union leaders are “making the Mediterranean a watery graveyard as a matter of deliberate policy” with a deal that makes Libya responsible for migrants trying to cross the sea into the continent, a group of more than 50 organisations has claimed.

Oxfam, Human Rights Watch and Médecins Sans Frontières were among the signatories to a letter which claimed they had “allowed themselves to become complicit in the tragedy unfolding before their eyes”.

Under the deal, Italy and the EU agreed to provide the Libyan Tripoli-based coastguard with money and technical support, in exchange for them stopping migrants trying to reach Europe from Libya.

The organisations urged leaders to end the return of migrants to Libya, support search and rescue operations and adopt timely and regular disembarking arrangements.

At least 5,300 migrants have died since the deal – described as “inhuman” by the United Nations – was agreed in February 2017, with thousands more currently suffering in Libyan detention camps, Oxfam said.

“EU countries are making the Mediterranean a watery graveyard as a matter of deliberate policy,” said Oxfam’s EU migration policy advisor, Raphael Shilhav.

The original letter:


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