Human rights organization queries Italy’s involvement in Libya’s waters
The Council of Europe (COE), a high profile international human rights organization, stated on 11 October that it had written to the Italian government in late September seeking clarification over its maritime operations in Libyan territory. In the letter COE commissioner, Nils Muiznieks, voiced his concern that if Italy had a direct role in returning migrants to Libya it would be breaking the European Convention on Human Rights:
“In light of recent reports on the current human rights situation of migrants in Libya, handing individuals over to the Libyan authorities or other groups in Libya would expose them to a real risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment… I would be grateful if you could clarify the kind of support operations your government expects to provide to the Libyan authorities in Libyan territorial waters and what safeguards Italy has put in place to ensure that people intercepted or rescued by Italian vessels in Libyan territorial waters do not subsequently face a situation contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
To read the letter and a response by the Minister of Interior of Italy click here