Monday, 23/9/2019 | 7:35 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Written question – Refugees dying in the Mediterranean and the authorities' approach to search and rescue – E-008331/2016

The number of people dying in the Mediterranean has risen significantly this year as a consequence of the flow of refugees, with 3 930 deaths being recorded so far in 2016, which is the highest number for seven years. With winter approaching, this figure could rise even further in the next few weeks.

Last week, it was reported in the media that navy officers were being investigated in Italy in connection with possible culpability in the drowning of 300 refugees off Malta in 2013. It is alleged that they delayed their response, failed to come to the assistance of the sinking vessel, which was carrying more than 480 people including at least 100 children, and passed the operation over to the Maltese coastguard.

There have been a number of reports recently of repressive actions against refugee boats on the part of various coastguards, in particular those of Turkey and Libya, countries with which the EU has signed agreements on the externalisation of borders, but also on the part of Frontex, endangering the lives of the refugees on board.

— What information does the Commission have on this case? — What is the Commission’s assessment of the interventions in the Mediterranean by Member State coastguards and Frontex, as well as by the coastguards of third countries? — How does it justify the countless cases of negligence or aggression against refugee boats?

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