UN human rights commissioner chides EU on Libya

Member states must ensure respect of migrants’ rights

11 September, 16:41

    (ANSAmed) - Geneva, September 11 - UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Monday said he was "extremely disturbed by recent reports suggesting that armed groups are now stopping and detaining migrants trying to leave the country, possibly with the encouragement of some Member States of the EU". "The EU and its member States must ensure that any cooperation agreement with Libya fully respects the rights and dignity of migrants," added Zeid, recalling the impunity and illegality that prevail in some parts of the north African country. The commissioner also called upon the EU and its member states to ensure that NGOs still conducting search and rescue operations in the central Mediterranean are not endangered as a result of a reported change in attitude by Libyan coast guard authorities. "I also repeat that impeding search and rescue, endangering migrants in distress at sea, and returning anyone to a place where they may face torture or other serious abuses would constitute a violation of obligations under the Law of the Sea and international human rights law," Zeid said. "I remind all EU governments, and indeed all governments worldwide, that no human being may ever, under any circumstances, be deported to a place where he or she faces the likelihood of torture and human rights violations," he added.


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