20. September 2014 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Mass Murder in the Mediterranean – NYT · Kategorien: Europa, Mittelmeerroute · Tags: ,

New York Times

„Murder in the Mediterranean: Refugees Fleeing to Europe Face Death From Smugglers


Refugees fleeing wars and conflict in Syria, Gaza and Africa know the journey in smugglers’ boats across the Mediterranean is fraught with perils.[…]

According to the International Organization for Migration, citing testimony from Palestinian survivors, last week in waters near Malta smugglers deliberately rammed a boat carrying some 500 refugees who refused a transfer to a smaller boat they felt was not safe.[…]

This has been a deadly year for migrants crossing the Mediterranean. Roughly 130,000 people have made the journey to Europe, more than double the 60,000 who did so in 2013. But more than 2,800 have died in shipwrecks or in transit this year, the migration agency says, a fourfold increase over last year.

[…] The fighting in Syria has forced 250,000 Syrian refugees to flee to Egypt alone. Tens of thousands of these people are waiting for passage to Europe. The conflict in Gaza has added to these numbers: Most of the refugees on the boat that sank off the coast of Malta were Palestinians from Gaza. Refugees have also been fleeing turmoil in Sudan and Eritrea.

The international community, especially Europe, must take collective action before more refugees die. Police and legal authorities must seek out and punish smugglers who kill or torture migrants. Last week’s tragedy is not the first report of mass murder on a refugee boat: In July, 180 of 569 migrants aboard a boat heading to Italy from Libya died, many after being beaten, stabbed and forced into the hold of the vessel.

[…] Mare Nostrum. The program has saved more than 70,000 refugees since it began last October — that number is well over half of the 118,000 refugees who managed to set foot on Italy’s shores this year.

The European Commission announced in late August that Frontex, the European border control agency, would “complement” Mare Nostrum’s efforts in the Mediterranean by helping with the rescue effort. But Frontex will operate only in European waters, which is of no help to victims who drown off the coasts of Libya or Egypt. The United Nations needs more funding to cope with Syrian refugees in Egypt.

Western countries that have pledged to take refugees need to fulfill their promises — Britain has admitted only 26 Syrian refugees so far this year — and they need to set up asylum and refugee application centers in Egypt and Libya. The only way to stop desperate people from risking their lives with unscrupulous traffickers is to give more of them a legal path to safety in Europe.“


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