18 September 2014

Rights Group slams Nato, others for deaths at sea

 - Wednesday, 25 April 2012, 00:00

Europe’s premier human rights watchdog is blaming Nato, Libyan authorities, and people smugglers for the deaths at sea of 63 people fleeing the Libyan war in March 2011.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said yesterday that Nato in particular “failed to react to distress calls” from the boat carrying the refugees in a zone of the Mediterranean Sea under its control.

Victims included citizens of Ethiopia, Nigeria, Eritrea, Ghana and Sudan.

Nato, whose warships and aircraft patrolled the area at the time, rejected the accusations, saying allied ships rescued 600 people at sea during the seven-month conflict.

Tens of thousands of people fled Libya in 2011, many of them aboard rickety boats heading for Malta and Italy. Many were Africans who lived and worked in Libya.

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