Press "Enter" to skip to content

EU funded coast guard ‘brutally endangering human lives’

The operators of Humanity 1, an NGO ship saving the lives of migrants in the central Mediterranean has said the crew was threatened several times by the Libyan Coast Guard.

According to a press release sent to Famagusta Gazette, people in distress at sea were also threatened at gunpoint as the crew tried to rescue them in international waters. ‘On Saturday afternoon, the crew of the German-flagged Humanity 1 was able to rescue a total of 77 people from three boats in distress, despite the violent and unlawful intervention of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard,’ the release said. ‘Numerous people jumped into the water in panic and the so-called Libyan Coast Guard fired a shot into the water. According to the survivors, one person was left behind by the Libyan patrol boat and most likely drowned’.

The press rlease said it was unbelievable to see how this ‘so-called coast guard, financed by the EU and Italy, is breaking the law and brutally endangering human lives’. It added:

‘This support led to at least one person drowning on Saturday, endangering numerous people and forcing around twenty people back to Libya in violation of international law’.

Laura Gorriahn, president of SOS Humanity, who is on board as a volunteer human rights observer during the rescue operation, said: ‘The patrol boat that interrupted our rescue operation by force of arms was apparently one of the two ships that were financed and delivered by the EU in the second half of 2023. As a migration researcher, I am aware of the violations of international law in the central Mediterranean that are being promoted by the EU as part of its inhumane closed-door policy, both in theory and from reports. Witnessing this in person has shocked me to the core.’

Famagusta Gazette