Immigration: NATO promises information for Council of Europe

Investigation continuing into 61 deaths in Mediterranean

30 November, 19:22

(ANSAmed) - STRASBOURG, NOVEMBER 30 - While many essential figures still missing, which NATO has promised to provide, a number of elements have emerged that will help to shed light on the deaths of 61 people who were travelling on board a boat in March this year, which travelled through Mediterranean waters for two weeks without being intercepted.

This is according to Tineke Strik, the Dutch senator who has been tasked by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly with carrying out an investigation into the deaths in the Mediterranean. The senator spoke to ANSA after a meeting in Brussels with senior NATO officials and after listening to speakers at a hearing in Paris, which was attended by the Italian senators, Giacomo Santini and Pasquale Nessa, the and senior officials at Frontex, the Red Cross and the UNHCR.

Senator Strik pointed out that around 2,000 people have died in Mediterranean waters this year alone and said that the investigation into the tragedy in March (of which there were some survivors, meaning that all data will be available) would produce elements helping to understand what must be done to avoid similar incidents in the future. One aspect, however, remains clear. "Without a real desire to collaborate on a European level, the issue will not be resolved," the Senator said. Strik also drew attention to the need to share on a European level the burden and responsibility for those who are saved, explaining that "even though no state will ever admit it, it is likely that practical problems resulting from the management of people saved in Mediterranean waters, many of whom would have the right to a refugee's status, mean that those who sight the boats hesitate to perform rescue operations". (ANSAmed).

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