Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Threatened by the Libya and Italy, MSF suspends Mediterranean rescues

Threatened by the Libya and Italy, MSF suspends Mediterranean rescues

The government also has pressured rescue groups to sign on to rules that would forbid them from entering Libyan waters to save migrants without specific authorization and require them to agree that armed Italian judicial authorities may board their ships.

Two non-governmental organizations say they're suspending migrant search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean because they feel threatened by the Libyan authorities.

"Under these circumstances, a continuation of our rescue work is not now possible".

According to BuzzFeed News, however, things didn't go according to plan when the C-Star suffered mechanical failures off the coast of Libya.

Tensions have risen since the Libyan navy on Thursday ordered foreign vessels to stay out of a coastal search-and-rescue zone, a measure it said was specifically aimed at non-governmental groups.

The announcement comes a day after Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it was halting the use of its largest boat in the area because of an "increasingly hostile environment for lifesaving rescue operations". Many of them are fleeing war and persecution while others are seeking better economic opportunities.

"MSF further requests that Libyan authorities clarify that all boats, operated by NGOs or anyone else, will be permitted to conduct these rescue activities unhindered and unharmed and that the Libyan nor Italian authorities will interfere with the legally guaranteed right to disembark people in a place of safety", it said in a statement.

The workers manning the boat didn't think twice about rescuing a bunch of alt-right creeps who meant to do harm to the vulnerable people the Sea-Eye swore to protect.

Libya was trying to increase the range of the waters its ships controlled from 12 nautical miles around its coast to 70 nautical miles, the humanitarian organisation said.

Aid groups and some Italian politicians warn that migrants intercepted by the Libyan coast guard are taken back to inhuman conditions in detention camps on the Libyan mainland.

This month, Italy began a naval mission in Libyan waters to train and support its coastguard, despite opposition from factions in eastern Libya that oppose the United Nations -backed government based in Tripoli.

The vast majority of those reaching Europe this year have landed in Italy, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Six years since a revolution that toppled longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, Libya has become a key departure point for migrants risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

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