In an effort to prevent future tragedies, the Council of Europe has now endorsed a thorough review of existing protocols regarding migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean.
Council of Europe demands policy overhaul to stop migrant boat deaths
Call follows 2011 incident in which dozens of refugees were left to die in Mediterranean despite desperate appeals for help
Europe’s leading human rights watchdog has called for an overhaul of policy on migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean following an incident last year in which dozens of Africans were left to die in a rubber dinghy despite their desperate appeals for help.
In a significant about-turn, Nato expressed “deep regret” for any role it may have played in the tragedy – but the alliance was swiftly accused by Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock of a cover-up over the deaths. Hancock said he plans to raise the issue in parliament next week.
On Tuesday a debate by the 47-nation Council of Europe on the fate of 72 migrants who set sail from Tripoli to Italy at the height of the Libyan war, only to run into trouble several hours later and end up drifting with the currents, united parliamentarians from across the political spectrum in anger at the huge and unnecessary loss of life.
The story of the doomed vessel, first revealed by the Guardian in May 2011, has gathered pace since it emerged that European authorities were aware of both the exact location and critical plight of the migrants, 63 of whom eventually perished of thirst and hunger. Despite the boat coming into contact with a series of military units over the subsequent two weeks, no rescue was ever attempted.
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