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Charity group to sue Libya coastguard for failing migrants in the Mediterranean


The charity Proactiva Open Arms has filed a complaint on Saturday, including of involuntary manslaughter, with the Spanish police against a cargo ship.

It said, managers of the cargo ship failed to help migrants adrift on a destroyed dinghy in the Mediterranean.

The captain of the charity’s rescue boat said on Saturday he also plans to file a separate suit against the Libyan lifeguard.

“We have filed a complaint against the captain of the Triades (merchant ship) for failing to help and for involuntary manslaughter and we’ll also do it against the captain of the Libyan patrol boat, which is part of the Libyan coast guard, for failure to render aid and for homicide and we will do so against any other person who may have taken part either through action or omission”, said NGO Activa Open Arms founder, Oscar Camps.

The migrant rescue boat Open Arms docked in Spain on Saturday carrying the bodies of a woman and a four-year-old boy as well as one woman who was found alive floating on the remains of a dinghy off the coast of Libya last week.

The boat took four days to arrive in the Spanish port of Palma after finding the migrants adrift about 80 miles or 130 km off Libya’s coast after being abandoned by the Libyan coast guard, the charity said.

Spanish basketball player Marc Gasol is disheartened.

“You reach a point when you begin to ask yourself and make conclusions: how is it possible that a person who is alive can be left behind in the sea and a child that just a few hours earlier… that looks like he’s sleeping and his fingers are wrinkled, how is it possible that he is left there? I don’t know. As a citizen, as a person and as a human being I need answers. How is someone capable of doing that?”, Gasol queried.

Camps claims that the merchant ship Triades, which carries a Panamanian flag and is currently moored in the north Libyan port of Misrata, had seen the migrant dingy but had failed to provide help.

The charity said, the Libyan lifeguard had left the three to float amid the shattered remains of the raft after the two women and the boy had refused to board their patrol ship.

Libya’s coast guard disputed the account on Tuesday July 17 but offered no explanation for how the three migrants came to be stranded on the remains of the dinghy

Open Arms found itself at the centre of the European immigrant crisis beginning July when it rescued 60 migrants off Libya and brought them to Barcelona, Spain after being refused docking in Italy and Malta.


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