More than 600 migrants have died in Mediterranean waters since early 2021

The Norwegian Refugee Council (CNR) warned this Monday that more than 600 migrants who tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe would have died in 2021.

The NGO, which has lamented the “tragedy” involved, recalled that this “can be avoided if Europe allows rescue missions to bring migrants to safety rather than avoiding responsibility”.

“Hundreds of migrants are being intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard,” said CNR’s director in Libya, Dax Roque, before clarifying that another 95 migrants were not intercepted until Sunday. He has stated that eleven migrants died on the same day off the coast of the African country.

More than 600 migrants have died in Mediterranean waters since early 2021
More than 600 migrants have died in Mediterranean waters since early 2021

He also warned that Libya “is no longer a safe place”. “More than half a million migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are in dire conditions in Libya,” he denounced.

In a statement, he said many are among the most vulnerable groups in Libya, facing “arbitrary arrests, inhuman conditions, exploitation, kidnapping, sexual violence, torture and other ill-treatment”.

“In the meantime, there are practically no safe routes to Europe, which is why they are forced to put their lives in danger,” said Roque, who expects more migrants to take this route with a view to the summer.

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