EC Asks Italy for Explanation Regarding Forced Returns (News)

EC Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot said “the commission had asked the Italian government for explanations on how some boats with irregular migrants, some asking for humanitarian protection, were returned to Libya.”  The EC is trying “to determine whether Italy is breaching obligations set down in international and EU law.”

“We want to know exactly and in detail what happened and what kind of operations were carried out, Barrot’s spokesman said on Monday (20 July). Italy has not been given a deadline by which to reply to the Commission.”

“The UNHCR says at least 900 people have been picked up and sent back to Libya since May, when Italy began its new policy of intercepting boats and returning would-be immigrants.”

“However, Barrot appears to believe that the incident will not be repeated.  I’ve been reassured that there is no perceived need for such operations, because, thanks to [the] agreement between Italy and Libya, far fewer illegal migrants are coming in, he said after meeting [Italy’s interior minister Roberto] Maroni.”

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Filed under European Union, Italy, Libya, Mediterranean, News

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