Last night at least 650 people drowned about 73 nautical miles north of the Libyan coast when seeking to reach Italy. They were on board of a 30 meter long boat that capsized when the container vessel King Jacob approached them for assistance. There were only 28 survivors.
This is the biggest refugee boat catastrophe in the recent history of the Mediterranean Sea. With its decision from the 27th of August 2014 to scale down rescue operations at sea, the EU is responsible for this mass dying. The EU has the means and possibilities to rescue refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. But instead, they let people drown.
Over the last weeks, we, as the Watch The Med Alarm Phone, became direct witnesses of struggles over life and death on these boats and of the relatives’ worries. We also witnessed how the coastguards of Italy and Malta as well as the crews of commercial vessels made great efforts but could often not prevent the dying as they were not sufficiently equipped to conduct rescue operations. And this is due to political decisions made on the level of the European Union.
Fortress Europe has caused ten thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean Sea in the last 25 years.
Those responsible are:
Politicians and police forces that have created, through the Schengen Regime, the general visa-duty and the organised manhunt of refugees and migrants without visas;
The politicians, police and military forces that have established Frontex in the past 10 years and have turned the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Italy since the Arab Spring into a maritime high security zone;
The EU politicians who decided on the 27th of August 2014 in Brussels to scale down the Italian rescue operation Mare Nostrum in the Mediterranean Sea and enforced a politics of deterrence through Frontex’s Triton operation along the Italian coast!
They carry responsibility for the thousands of deaths that have occurred in the last months in the maritime zone between Libya and Italy.
The dying needs to end:
We demand an immediately created direct ferry line for refugees from Tripoli and other places in Northern Africa to Europe.
We demand safe and legal corridors for refugees to reach a place of refuge without the need to risk their lives.
We call out, beyond all confessions and political sides, to take immediate direct action against these murderous EU policies and politics.
Watch the Med Alarm Phone