– / AFP / Getty Images
It is estimated that 150 refugees died after their wooden boat, which had gone to Europe, capsized off the coast of Libya. According to the United Nations, this is the heaviest loss this year in the Mediterranean.
On the night of Wednesday, the boat departed from Al Khoms in Libya, about 120 km east of the capital Tripoli. It sank on Thursday, five miles from the Libyan coast.
Aid organizations believe 250-300 people could have been aboard. According to the International Organization for Migration of the United States of America, 30 people died and up to 120 others may have drowned.
I am appalled by reports that about 150 people died in a shipwreck off the coast of Libya.
We need secure legal channels for migrants and refugees.
Every migrant looking for a better life deserves safety and dignity.
– António Guterres (@antonioguterres) July 25, 2019
According to reports, the boat's engine failed and capsized, according to the UN. Local fishermen started rescue efforts; They were later assisted by the Libyan Coast Guard.
"It was a big wooden boat, a ship that was not seaworthy for the particular mission," said Charlie Yaxley, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, NPR.
About 145 people were rescued on board; Many of them, according to the IOM, have an Eritrean or Sudanese background. The survivors also include a Palestinian and a Bangladeshi refugee.
The worst Mediterranean tragedy of this year has just happened. Restoring the salvage at sea, ending the detention of refugees and migrants in Libya, and increasing safe passage from Libya must happen NOW, before it is too late for many more desperate people. https://t.co/XuZJpDtZfv[19459014lightboxes-FilippoGrandi(@RefugeesChief) July 25, 2019
It is the last tragedy for migrants in the Mediterranean in 2019.
"This route was" The whole Year over deadly, "said IOM spokesman Joel Millman to NPR.
In May, 65 migrants from Libya died after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea near Tunisia.
" Travel is becoming increasingly dangerous, "says Yaxley. "In 2019, on the way from Libya to Europe, one person died for all six people who reached European coasts. Our mortality rate is rising alarmingly. "
Although the number of refugees crossing the Mediterranean has dropped this year, the IOM has so far accounted for nearly 700 deaths in the Mediterranean in 2019.
The decline in migrants who Crossing the Mediterranean is mainly due to the new policy of Italian immigration, with the support of the EU Italy has reached an agreement with the Libyan authorities to deport migrants leaving Libya by repelling boats and repatriating migrants
Last month, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini issued a decree banning the entry of non-governmental vessels into Italy's ports.
The United Nations calls on all countries involved to prevent the transfer of survivors to detention centers, in which migrants are deprived of human rights exposed.
Earlier this month an airstrike at the Tajoura detention center near Tripoli killed over 50 people.
Humanitarian agencies reported that 84 survivors of the shipwreck were taken to the Tajoura facility this week. However, the IOM department in Libya states that the survivors in Tajoura were not picked up and are now released "gradually".
🚨 Update: The 84 migrants were not detained at the Tajoura detention center and stayed at the disembarkation center in Tripoli last night. They will gradually be released to the city.
– IOM Libya (@IOM_Libya) July 26, 2019