EU responsibility for Libyan migrant deaths established beyond doubt, lawyers say
Human rights lawyers suing the European Union over Libyan migrant drownings in the Mediterranean believe their legal case is “extremely strong” and the facts proving the blocs responsibility are “established beyond any doubt.”
In a 243-page submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) this week, the group of lawyers asked for an investigation into the EU and the actions it took to deter migrants from Libya, which, they claim, violated their human rights.
EU officials showed “a clear consciousness and willingness” to let many migrants die, former ICC lawyer and co-author of the report Juan Branco told RT. From a legal standpoint, he said, the case is strong but, from a political standpoint, “it depends on the office of the prosecutor and its willingness to investigate its main supporter.”
The submission to the ICC in particular blames the EUs decision in 2014 to scale back its rescue operations as a major reason for the deaths, as well as actions taken by member states against sea rescue organizations.
Branco said the lawyers had always made the most “conservative evaluations” of the number of deaths in the Mediterranean, estimating that the numbers reached 14,000.
Its not merely that the EU “didn't do everything they could,” its that they “did everything they could not to do what they should,” co-author Omar Shatz told RT.
EU officials proudly declared the migrant crisis over earlier this year, after a near 90 percent drop in arrivals via the Mediterranean in 2018 – but that does not mean there was an equal drop in departures for Europe, Shatz said. In fact, many of those people are intercepted by the Libyan coastguard, which has been accused of colluding with smugglers, and are held in “detention camps and torture houses,” he said.
The EU, Shatz said, “provided boats, provided training, provided finance, provided legal support, provided legitimacy and, today even, they patrol together [with the coastguard] in the Mediterranean.”
The legal submission focuses specifically on the migrant crisis and EU response to it, rather than on the events which sparked it and the EUs role in the US-led NATO bRead More – Source