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Several NGOs operating in the Mediterranean are raising questions and sparking criticism. Frontex has pointed to their responsibility being involved in the wholesale trafficking of migrants from Libya by unscrupulous people smugglers, as revealed in The Financial Times in December 2016.
In Italy, the situation has become so critical that the mayor of Lampedusa, Giusi Nicolini, who is known for his pro-immigration opinions, suffered a bitter electoral defeat on 18 June 2017. Furthermore, several associations are now the subject of legal enquiries in Italy.
The Public Prosecutor for Catania has accused them of collusion with people smugglers and the Public Prosecutor for Trapani strongly criticised their actions during a recent hearing at the Italian Senate. Several journalists and politicians suspect the Soros Open Society Foundation to be one of their main sources of funding.
On 14 June 2017, The New York Times published an article condemning the rescue operations performed by these NGOs just off the Libyan coast. According to the Daily Mail, in an article published on 11 June 2017, a senior Libyan coastguard official, Colonel Tarek Shanboor, has confided to the newspaper that he has proof that NGOs are paying migrant traffickers.
What conclusions does the Commission draw from all these charges?