Tag Archives: Vatican

Mussie Zerai – Eritrean Catholic priest assisting refugees in Libya and at sea

Here is a short AFP article about Father Mussie Zerai who is in frequent contact by satellite phone with African refugees in Libya and with those who are in the process of leaving Libya:  “A few steps away from St Peter’s Basilica, an Eritrean Catholic priest is on the phone with boats in the middle of the Mediterranean filled with African refugees fleeing Libya.  Mussie Zerai receives calls from satellite phones on the boats and co-ordinates the arrival of hundreds of Eritreans, Ethiopians and Somalis with Italy’s coast guard and the NATO warships imposing a naval embargo on Libya….”

Click here for article.

Father Zerai’s organisation’s blog: habeshia.blogspot.com/

UPDATE:  If you have information about a family member or friend who may be on a boat or if you are seeking information, please consider contacting the Agenzia Habeshia per la Cooperazione allo Sviluppo in Italy at this email address: agenzia_habeshia@yahoo.it .

UPDATE: Click here for 19 April 2011 BBC article.

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Filed under Eritrea, Italy, Libya, Mediterranean, News

Vatican Criticises Italy-Libya Migration Agreement

Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, criticised the Italian agreement with Libya in a speech in Rome for the second European conference on the issue of human rights in the training of European lawyers.

”Confermo – conclude quindi mons. Marchetto – la mia posizione di condanna a chi non osserva il principio di non refoulement, che sta alla base del trattamento da farsi a quanti fuggono da persecuzione. E mi domando se in tempo di pace non si riesce a far rispettare tale principio fondamentale del diritto internazionale umanitario, come si fara’ a richiederne l’osservanza in tempo di guerra. E la domanda si puo’ estendere alla questione della protezione dei civili durante i conflitti, che viene cosi’ indebolita nella sua radice, comune, umanitaria”.

Click here (EN) and here (IT) for articles.

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Filed under Italy, Libya, Mediterranean, News