Left to Die

The European rapporteur charged with investigating the case of 63 African migrants who were “left to die” in the Mediterranean last year has warned those responsible could end up in court.

Migrant boat disaster: those responsible ‘could face legal action’

Council of Europe investigator issues warning to those who ignored boat full of African refugees adrift in the Mediterranean

Jack Shenker, The Guardian

The European rapporteur charged with investigating the case of 63 African migrants who were “left to die” in the Mediterranean last year has warned those responsible could end up in court.

On Wednesday, the Guardian revealed the findings of a damning official report into the fateful voyage, which saw the sub-Saharan refugees drifting in the sea for two weeks while dying of thirst and starvation, even though their boat had been located by European authorities and emergency distress calls had been issued to all other ships in the area.

The report blamed a collective set of “human, institutional and legal” failures for the inaction, labelling it a “dark day for Europe” and concluding that large loss of life could have been avoided if the various agencies in the area – Nato, its warships, the Italian coastguard and individual European states – had fulfilled their basic obligations.

Survivors claim they made contact with a military helicopter and large naval vessel, both of which abandoned the migrant boat without attempting a rescue.

On Thursday, the Council of Europe will use a meeting in Brussels to formally adopt a resolution demanding a major overhaul of search and rescue procedures in the Mediterranean, and call on Nato and its constituent countries to ……….[access full article]

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