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Europe leaves refugees to die

by IdiotSavant Sun May 8th, 2011 at 10:26:58 PM EST

At the moment, NATO, backed by a UN mandate, is bombing Libya, ostensibly to save civilian lives.  Meanwhile, it left a boatload of refugees fleeing the bombing to die of hunger and thirst at sea:

Dozens of African migrants were left to die in the Mediterranean after a number of European and Nato military units apparently ignored their cries for help, the Guardian has learned.

A boat carrying 72 passengers, including several women, young children and political refugees, ran into trouble in late March after leaving Tripoli for the Italian island of Lampedusa. Despite alarms being raised with the Italian coastguard and the boat making contact with a military helicopter and a Nato warship, no rescue effort was attempted.

All but 11 of those on board died from thirst and hunger after their vessel was left to drift in open waters for 16 days.

As the article points out, the law of the sea requires all vessels to respond to distress calls.  But the military forces of Italy and France refused, because that would mean the refugees would be entitled to asylum in the rescuing country.  So instead, they left them to be someone else's problem - which in practice meant leaving them to die.  At the least, it is a violation of international maritime law, and the officers who gave the order to ignore need to be prosecuted and stripped of their positions.  But beyond that, it exposes an ugly policy on the part of European nations to ignore cries for help when they come from people with the wrong coloured skin. And that is simply racism.


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Why should we be surprised? The EU cannot even show internal economic solidarity...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 9th, 2011 at 05:19:58 AM EST

As long as the EU can't work out a coherent immigration policy, these human tragedies will continue to happen.

There's also a whole lot not made clear in the piece by the Guardian. Just by focusing on the aircraft carrier: Did the refugee ship attempt to contact the aircraft carrier by radio, flares or other means? Or had their batteries ran out by that time? Did the refugees see people standing on the carrier at a visible range? What were the weather conditions when the refugee ship approached the carrier? Did French authorities really refuse and thereby breaking international maritime law?

by Nomad on Mon May 9th, 2011 at 05:32:30 AM EST
Coherent the policy is: none shall enter. Humane it is not.

Recently read an interview with an immigration researcher that claimed about 90% of asylum seekers in Europe has entered illegally. In addition there are lots of uncounted who never apply for asylum.

The policy is just more obvious when letting refugees drown then when paying north african states to stop the refugees any way they choose to.

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by A swedish kind of death on Tue May 10th, 2011 at 04:47:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
None shall enter is not "the" EU policy, it is the accumulative result of the absence of one. Which seems to suit a number of countries just fine.
by Nomad on Tue May 10th, 2011 at 07:56:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Transporter liability - making airlines stop refugees from entering the EU on planes - sure is an EU policy.

And if the EU has no policy, then what was the comission doing last autumn?

EUROPA - Press Releases - European Commission and Libya agree a Migration Cooperation agenda during high level visit to boost EU-Libya relations

  • Good progress in the negotiations of the bilateral 'Framework Agreement', which will establish a very first official and legal relationship between the EU and Libya and open up many areas for working together.

  • Increased financial support for Libya's reforms amounting to a total of € 60 million for the period 2011-2013. These funds will help improve Libya's health sector, support economic development and in particular Libya's small and medium enterprises, and assist the Libyan administration in its modernisation efforts.

  • Opening an EU Office in Tripoli, that should become operational before the end of the year, as a demonstration of EU's commitment to establishing a long-term relationship with Libya.

  • Agreement with Libya to develop our cooperation on migration-related issues.

60 million euros to stop refugees and increased trade on top of it. Sure looks like the EU has a policy to stop refugees before they reach the border.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu May 12th, 2011 at 05:01:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no EU policy, but "None shall enter" would be a potential policy. Collective EU policy is not necessarily humane.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 12th, 2011 at 01:55:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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