The Address | Benghazi – Libya
ROME – Italy’s Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, stated out via Twitter late Monday that the 100 migrants whom left Libya on Monday are all safe after being rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard.
Alarm Phone, which is an independent hotline for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea, reported on Monday that it received a call from migrants on board a boat coming from the city of Khoms in Libya.
The migrants told Alarm Phone that their engine stopped working. Among those on board are more than 50 women, including pregnant women, and 30 children, Alarm Phone reported.
Salvini tweeted that the “inflatable boat with 100 migrants identified and recovered by the Libyan Coast Guard. All safe, all returned from where they left. Good.”
Doctors Without Borders (also known as Médecins Sans Frontières) responded to Salvini on Twitter, stating: “saving lives at sea, that’s “good.” Forcing people back to Libya, that’s a violation of international law.”
Many human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Doctors Without Borders, consider Libya not to be a safe harbor for migrants. High-level officials at the European Union such as the European Commission’s spokesperson for immigration, Natasha Bertaud, and even Italy’s Foreign Minister, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, have stated the same thing.
This incident contradicts an earlier statement made by Salvini who attributed the departure of migrant boats to the presence of NGO rescue ships.
Last week, he tweeted that migrant boats stopped leaving Libya’s shores because NGO ships, such as Sea Watch 3, Sea Eye and Open Arms, are blocked from leaving the European Union’s ports. NGO ships are still, as of this time, being blocked from leaving the European Union’s ports.
“Map updated. Without ships of the NGOs in front of the shores of Libya, by chance, for 15 days, not even a boat left, and no one dies anymore. Coincidence ???” He tweeted on February 4th.