Further to the previous post, in the same press conference, Frontex’s Arias-Fernandez seemed to characterise the repatriation agreement in a completely positive manner and, while conceding that the fate of migrants returned to Libya is unknown, Arias-Fernandez apparently did not express concern over the fact that migrants who are forcibly repatriated to Libya have no procedure by which to seek protection under international refugee law, EU subsidiary protections, or the European Convention on Human Rights.
Arias-Fernandez: ”From January 1 2009 to July 5, there were 333 illegal arrivals [by boat in Italy] according to our people in the field. For the same period last year there were 776. As for Sicily, including Lampedusa, the [number of migrants] passed from last year’s 14,806 to 6,760 this year.”
“From May 15 on … when the [Italy-Libya] agreements became effective, [Frontex] agents noticed even more of a decrease. The decrease in this last month and a half may have even reached -70%. Based on our statistics, we are able to say that the agreements have had a positive impact. On the humanitarian level, fewer human lives have been put at risk, due to fewer departures. But our agency does not have the ability to confirm if the right to request asylum as well as other human rights are being respected in Libya.”
Click here for ANSA article.