Thursday 17 October 2019

Euro taxpayers 'funding torture' of migrants by Libyan 'rescuers'

Call for probe: Lawyer Juan Branco, co-author of refugee report
Call for probe: Lawyer Juan Branco, co-author of refugee report

Lori Hannant

More than 40,000 people have been intercepted in the Mediterranean and taken to detention camps and torture houses under a European migration policy that is responsible for crimes against humanity, according to a legal document asking the International Criminal Court to take the case.

Citing public EU documents, statements from French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other top EU officials, the document alleges officials are knowingly responsible for deaths of migrants at land and sea and their widespread rape and torture at the hands of a Libyan coast guard funded and trained at European taxpayers' expense.

It names no official but cites an ongoing ICC probe into the fate of migrants in Libya.

"We leave it to the prosecutor, if he dares, if she dares, to go into the structures of power and to investigate at the heart of Brussels, of Paris, of Berlin and Rome and to see by searching in the archives of the meetings of the negotiations who was really behind the scenes trying to push for these policies that triggered the death of more than 14,000 people," said Juan Branco, a lawyer who co-wrote the report and shared it with news agency Associated Press.

Germany's government spokesman Steffen Seibert rejected any responsibility for conditions in Libya. Any deaths at sea were first and foremost the fault of smugglers.

"We are working to encourage voluntary returns and reintegration of migrants in their home countries. We are working to strengthen legal pathways for refugees who need protection. We are especially working for there to be alternatives to the so-called detention centres in which there are in part terrible conditions," Mr Seibert said.

Irish Independent

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