AI Public Statement: “Amnesty International is deeply concerned that Italian authorities may be attempting to circumvent their obligation to protect people fleeing widespread and systematic human rights violations and abuses in Libya by facilitating the interception of refugees and migrant boats by Libyan authorities in the central Mediterranean.
On 10 May 2017 a request for assistance from a refugees and migrant boat to the Italian coastguard resulted in a Libyan coastguard vessel intercepting the boat in distress in international waters and returning up to 500 people to face illegal detention, torture, rape, inhuman and degrading treatment and other grave abuses in Libya. The incident represented an extremely worrying departure from the procedures so far applied to search and rescue operations of refugees and migrants in the central Mediterranean. …. Read full statement.