Migration, Malta condemned for its role in pushbacks towards Libya

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese authorities have been implicated in another pushback of a group of migrants who left from Libya. According to the international NGO Alarm Phone, 30 migrants who were in distress on a small boat in Maltàs search and rescue (SAR) zone, early this week were intercepted by a Libyan vessel operated by the Libyan militia group Tarek Ben Zayed and were taken back to Libya with the assistance of the Maltese government. The Tarek Ben Zayed is a militant organization led by Saddam Haftar, son of the Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar. AlarmPhone confirmed that a week ago, the distress vessel’s location was established and reported its location just inside the southeast edge of Maltàs search and rescue zone. The vessel was low on fuel, food and water.
The people on board were at first thought to have been picked up by a commercial vessel but were later confirmed to have been pushed back by the Libyan vessel Tareq Bin Zayed, belonging to an armed militia group.
The vessel, which left from Sirte, Libya, was spotted by Alarm Phone after receiving distress signals after encountering strong winds and waves. On Friday, the commercial vessel Nippon Princess heeded the distress call and looked for the smaller boat but could not find it. This week, AlarmPhone confirmed the pushback by the Libyan militiàs vessel and “condemned Maltàs role in pushbacks”.

foto: Agenzia Fotogramma


Source: medNews