“Brutal attack”: refugee boat shot down in the Mediterranean

"Brutal attack": refugee boat shot down in the Mediterranean

“brutal assault”
Refugee boat shot down in Mediterranean Sea

About 50 migrants are headed to Europe in the open sea when they are harassed by a ship of the Libyan Coast Guard. The aid organization Sea Watch also reported gunfire. She calls on the EU to immediately end cooperation with the country.

According to aid organization Sea Watch, the Libyan coast guard opened fire in the direction of a refugee boat in the Mediterranean Sea. The German organization published a video recording of the incident. According to Sea Watch, it can be seen how the Coast Guard ship approaches the boat and shots are fired in the water a few meters away from the boat. In addition, the Coast Guard tried several times to crush the boat with around 50 migrants.

Members of Sea-Watch, who filmed the incident from an airplane, radioed the Coast Guard ship’s crew and warned them not to fire any more shots and to keep their distance. For some time, it was not possible to verify whether the ship actually belonged to the Libyan Coast Guard, as the Coast Guard could not be reached for a comment. The refugee boat finally reached the island of Lampedusa, Italy.

Sea Watch expressed outrage over the “brutal attack”. The EU should “immediately end its cooperation with the so-called Libyan Coast Guard,” the aid organization said on Twitter. “Anyone who shoots people and tries to capsize their boats is not there to save them.”

The Mediterranean route from North Africa to Southern Europe is one of the most dangerous refugee routes. According to the United Nations, more than 830 people have died trying to travel by boat to Europe since the beginning of the year. There have been 1,400 deaths in the Mediterranean Sea during the whole of 2020.

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