MSF rescues 39 vulnerable immigrants, Libyan coastguards return over 220 others

Doctors Without Borders says the EU deal with Libya is ‘delusional’

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on board a humanitarian ship, The Aquarius, rescued 39 vulnerable illegal immigrants off Libyan coast from a dinghy backed with 253 ones.

“We identified 39 medical and vulnerable cases – including one newborn, pregnant women, children and their families – who were evacuated to the Aquarius.” MSF said.

It added that due to orders from the Libyan and Italian coastguards, The Aquarius remained out of the rescue operation, “despite the distress and pain the migrants were in.”

Libyan coastguards arrived then and returned the rest of the immigrants to the war-torn country, added the MSF in a statement.

“MSF reiterates again that Libya is not a place of safety and under no circumstances should refugees and migrants be returned there. MSF continues to call on European Governments to prioritise the safety of refugees and migrants rather than actively enforcing policies of deterrence and containment in Libya.” It explained.

“We refer also to the Dutch minister of foreign affairs who after her visit just last week stated that the situation in the detention centres is inhumane and they should be closed as soon as possible.” MSF added.

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