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Sea Watch: Europe’s refugee policies are a ‘total failure’

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Interview. We spoke with Giorgia Linardi, spokesperson for the Sea Watch organization, which has come under attack by Italy’s far right Interior Minister. Survivors stranded on the NGO’s rescue vessel, including children, have endured incredible trauma.

written by Adriana Pollice

Topic Refugees


June 16, 2019

Before being stranded aboard the Sea Watch 3, the migrants suffered terribly in Libya. Here’s just one of their stories: “One of the survivors recounted being forced to bury dead bodies to prepare the detention center for the visit of outside operators, in order to make it more presentable,” said the NGO’s spokeswoman, Giorgia Linardi.

“Even the youngest one, only 12 years old, was imprisoned without a valid reason,” Linardi told us. “One of them was sold as a slave to a government official and worked as a servant in order to buy his freedom and get a place on a raft.” Every time the survivors were brought back to Libya, they were imprisoned again: “If they survive, they are again forced to go out to sea, only to be brought back, abused and tortured to get ransom money. Until they perish.”

Ms. Linardi, you have collected many horror stories. These are people who should receive international protection, aren’t they?

Sending them back to Libya would certainly constitute an indiscriminate collective rejection, a crime for which Italy has already been condemned. Verifying whether they are persons........

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