Migrants in Libya: MEPs concerned about the systematic violations of human rights

Migrants in Libya: MEPs concerned about the systematic violations of human rights

160729-N-EU999-004 MEDITERRANEAN SEA (July 29, 2016) Migrants aboard an inflatable vessel approach the guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64). Carney provided food and water to the migrants aboard the vessel before coordinating with a nearby merchant vessel to take them to safety. Carney is forward deployed to Rota, Spain, and is conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe. (U.S. navy photo by Chief Information Systems Technician Wesley R. Dickey/Released)

MEPs urge the Commission to review urgently the EU’s approach towards Libya and the rights of migrants.

In a joint meeting of the Committee on civil liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Subcommittee on Human Rights, MEPs expressed deep concern about deteriorating human rights situation of migrants in Libya asking the Commission to provide an overview of the EU migration-related funding to this country or for activities carried out in Libya in the past years.

Alarmed by the final report of the UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya which concludes there are grounds to believe a wide array of war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed by State security forces and armed militia groups, which, according to overwhelming evidence, deliberately torture and sexually enslave migrants in particular, MEPs stressed that these findings correspond with the dramatic stories of the refugees arriving to Europe.

Parallel State authorities are emerging and in this polarising context, armed groups that have been implicated in allegations of torture, arbitrary detention, trafficking and sexual violence remain unaccountable, the representative of the UN Fact Finding Mission Chaloka Beyani told MEPs. There are “reasonable grounds to believe that the exploitation of migrants entailed violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law and the commission of crimes against humanity”, states the report.

Clear-cut conditionality for EU funds

As the report points that there is “technical, logistical, and monetary support from the European Union for inter alia the interception and return of migrants to Libya”, MEPs demand more transparency from the Commission stressing that it should be consistently discussed whether the EU action, in this particular case, has been guided by the values and principles that are at the core of the EU external policies.

The Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights Udo Bullmann (S&D, Germany) said: ”Based on the findings of the UN report, the EU needs to urgently revise its approach towards Libya. Human dignity and human rights must be at the core of the EU external policies. That means also that the non-refoulement prohibition must be absolutely guaranteed.”

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