Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Video shows Libyan coast guard ‘funded by Europe’ ramming into migrant boat

Rescue group Sea-Watch International shared a video that showed a migrant boat under attack by the Libyan coast guard

Rescue group Sea-Watch International on Friday shared a video that showed a migrant boat under attack by the Libyan coast guard, drawing anger against the European Union’s migration policy that funds such interceptions.

The video shows most of those on the vessel fall into the water and are seen swimming desperately to a nearby Libyan ship for safety. Dozens or so were reportedly on the dinghy when it was hit, Sea-Watch said.

“Attempted murder today in the Mediterranean by the so-called Libyan coastguard! We cannot know if and how many people lost their lives. However, the survivors, who made it aboard the Libyan patrol vessel are now illegally forced back to #Libya,” the group posted on X.

“The so-called Libyan coastguard, funded and armed by Italy and Europe, consists of ruthless criminals. The time for European states to stop their support for human rights violations is now!”

Starting in 2015, the EU has provided financial support to the Libyan coast guard as part of its plan to reduce the flow of migrants of people from North Africa.

More than 2,500 people have died or gone missing while trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, the UN refugee agency UNHCR last week.

Approximately 186,000 people have arrived in European countries during the same period. Of this, 130,000 have arrived in Italy, marking an 83% increase compared to last year. Others landed in Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Malta.

In June, an overcrowded fishing trawler, carrying some 500 people from Libya to Italy, sank about 80km (50 miles) from the southern Greek coastal town of Pylos. Only 104 survivors were found.

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