Monday, 24/2/2020 | 5:58 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Written question – Deaths in the Mediterranean – Libya – E-008012/2016

Last Saturday, the international press reported on horrifying scenes in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya in which migrants were trying desperately to swim towards lifeboats, which, crammed full as they were, were sailing away from them. At least nine people died and ten others disappeared.

Within the last week alone, according to the information available, 8 000 people at least have been rescued in Libyan waters. Lifeboats themselves are having to operate under dangerous conditions, since they are exposed, from the outset, to violent attacks by members of people-trafficking networks.

Replying to Written Question E-005077/2016 on the ‘Murder of Syrian refugees in Turkey and condemnations by MSF’, the Commission maintained that ‘the sharp decrease seen in the number of irregular migrants and asylum-seekers crossing from Turkey into Greece is proof of the Statement’s effectiveness — and, in particular, that the business model of smugglers can be broken’. Those words are being resoundingly belied by the reality revealed in the above accounts.

1. Is the Commission aware of the situation described above? 2. What steps has it taken, or will it take, to prevent more lives from being lost in the days ahead and to facilitate rescue operations in Libyan waters?