Another Worrying Record

BBC reported yesterday on yet another sunken refugee boat near Malta last week. The coverage on drowned refugees in the Mediterranean, which according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) affected more than 2,500 lives alone this year, seems to be more and more shaped by a horrifying regularity. This rising number of deaths has added up to a sad record, as the death poll is nearly four times the figure from 2013. However, there is another worrying record namely the new high point of brutality. The survivors of the latest incident told investigators that their overcrowded vessel was deliberately sent to the bottom by enraged smugglers when the migrants rejected demands to move to a less seaworthy vessel. Most of the 500 passengers from Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Sudan drowned. This is not the first report on the escalating brutality by traffickers. IOM’s spokesperson, Joel Millman, told in a press conference that in the last weeks he collected reports on the deteriorating situation of refugees especially in Libya. Refugees repeatedly testified of being forced on boats at knifepoint, while others showed signs of stab wounds and torture. Millman called this treatment of refugees by traffickers an inhuman action resembling evermore the practises of kidnapping. These human rights violations are enabled by the European Union (EU) and their ignorance to deal with the striking reality at its shores. Traffickers are making use of peoples misery but it is the EU looking the other way. The EU has the means to change the situation for thousands of refugees and is therefore not less guilty than the traffickers.

– Katrin