Tag Archives: PACE Migration Committee

PACE Rapporteur Conducts Interviews in Italy Regarding Mediterranean Migrant Deaths

Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) concluded a two day fact-finding trip to Italy on 7 September as Rapporteur for the PACE Migration Committee.  She is investigating the deaths of boat people who have died in the Mediterranean since January 2011.  Strik interviewed Father Moses Zerai, an Eritrean priest, who was in satellite phone contact with several migrant boats during their voyages from Libya, including the disabled migrant boat that drifted for days in March-April this year and on which 61 persons are believed to have died.  In addition to Zerai, Strik interviewed three of the nine survivors from the boat, Italian Coastguard officials, and NGO and UNHCR staff.  Strik “is planning interviews with officials from Nato and the Maltese government, which the Italian coastguard says was alerted to the boat’s plight.”

From the PACE press statement: “‘There is an obligation to help all people in distress.  If anyone did not live up to this responsibility and deliberately did not assist them, they must not be allowed to get away with it. … The testimonies of witnesses directly involved in this incident are coherent, but we have to continue to collect more data and information on who was when and where in the area,’ Mrs Strik reported.  ‘My mission is to try to find out what went wrong, and if there was perhaps a gap in responsibility-sharing. The recommendation which will be contained in my report is aimed at establishing responsibilities and trying to determine how to deal with such incidents in the future. We have to draw the right lessons to prevent similar situations from occurring again.  … At the end of my inquiry, I expect national jurisdictions, governments and parliaments to carry on the investigations and I very much hope that the dynamic of truth … will pave the way,’ she concluded.”

Click here (EN), here (FR), and here (ES) for articles.

Click here for PACE press statement.

Click here for previous post.

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Filed under Council of Europe, European Union, Frontex, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, News, Tunisia, UNHCR

PACE Rapporteur to Begin Fact-Finding Mission to Italy to Investigate Mediterranean Migrant Deaths

Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) will begin a two day fact-finding trip to Italy on 6 September as Rapporteur for the PACE Migration Committee (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe).  She is investigating the deaths of boat people who have died in the Mediterranean since January 2011.

From the PACE press statement of 2 September:  “Meetings are scheduled with survivors of a shipwreck, officers of Italian coastguard units, representatives of NGOs active in the field and representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  During her visit the rapporteur will in particular look into the way boats are intercepted – or not intercepted – by national coastguard forces, or by military vessels under either NATO or national command.  Further to reports that migrants and refugees have perished after their distress calls were ignored, the PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population appointed Ms Strik in June to conduct an inquiry into these matters.”

From the PACE press statement issued in June 2011: “‘There have been allegations that migrants and refugees are dying after their appeals for rescue have been ignored,’ said Mrs Strik. ‘Such a grave allegation must be urgently investigated.  I intend to look into the manner in which these boats are intercepted – or not – by the different national coastguards, the EU’s border agency FRONTEX, or even military vessels. I also intend to speak to witnesses directly involved in reported incidents, and put questions to national authorities, the UNHCR, FRONTEX and NATO, among others.’  On 8 May, the Guardian newspaper reported that 61 boat people escaping from Libya had died after their appeals for rescue had been ignored by armed forces operating in the Mediterranean. The following day PACE President Mevlüt Çavusoglu called for ‘an immediate and comprehensive enquiry’ into the incident.”

Presumably Ms. Strik’s investigation will also seek information from Maltese authorities.  The Maltese Rescue Coordination Centre run by the Armed Forces of Malta is in possession of relevant information pertaining to incidents within the Maltese Search and Rescue Area where many (perhaps most?) of the migrant deaths have occurred.

Click here and here for COE press statements.

Click here for link to COE’s web page regarding “PACE’s Response to Migrants and refugees arriving from North Africa.”

Click here and here for my previous posts on the topic.

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Filed under Council of Europe, European Union, Frontex, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, News, Reports, Tunisia

PACE Appoints Tineke Strik as Rapporteur to Investigate Mediterranean Sea Deaths

The Migration Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has appointed Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) to prepare a report on the deaths of boat people who have died in the Mediterranean since January 2011.

From the PACE press statement: “‘There have been allegations that migrants and refugees are dying after their appeals for rescue have been ignored,’ said Mrs Strik. ‘Such a grave allegation must be urgently investigated.  I intend to look into the manner in which these boats are intercepted – or not – by the different national coastguards, the EU’s border agency FRONTEX, or even military vessels. I also intend to speak to witnesses directly involved in reported incidents, and put questions to national authorities, the UNHCR, FRONTEX and NATO, among others.’  On 8 May, the Guardian newspaper reported that 61 boat people escaping from Libya had died after their appeals for rescue had been ignored by armed forces operating in the Mediterranean. The following day PACE President Mevlüt Çavusoglu called for ‘an immediate and comprehensive enquiry’ into the incident.”

Click here for PACE press statement.

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PACE Migration Committee to Designate Rapporteur to Conduct Inquiry into Deaths of Boat People

PACE President Mevlüt Cavusoglu announced today that the PACE Migration Committee will conduct an inquiry into the incident that occurred in April when 61 migrants died at sea after leaving Libya.  Survivors from the boat reported that several ships, including naval ships, ignored their calls for assistance.  The Committee will designate a Rapporteur this week who will look into this incident as well as “other cases where better interception and rescue co-ordination could have saved human lives.”

Click here and here for PACE press statements.

Click here and here for previous posts.

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Filed under Council of Europe, Libya, Mediterranean, News