Thursday, March 28, 2019

Leaving them to drown

Every year, thousands of refugees try to cross the Mediterranean in leaky boats, desperate to escape whatever hellhole they're in and find somewhere safe. Previously, the EU had rescued them when they got into trouble. But now, thanks to Italy, they have a new policy: leave them to drown:

The European Union is to stop the sea patrols that have rescued thousands of refugees and migrants from the central Mediterranean, after Italy’s populist government threatened to veto the entire operation.

Operation Sophia, which has two vessels and five planes and helicopters, was set up in 2015 to prevent loss of life at sea in a year when 3,771 people died or went missing attempting to reach Europe in rickety boats.

The sea patrol element of the operation will end on 30 September, though air patrols will be stepped up. The mission will also continue training the Libyan coastguard – part of a controversial strategy that critics say leads to people being trapped in Libyan detention centres, where they suffer horrific abuse.

Meanwhile, they've harassed and deflagged the independent rescue ships, so there is now no-one to save these people. It is simply a policy of outright murder. And the politicians responsible should go to The Hague for it.