Italian Captain Convicted for Sending Migrants to Libya in 2018

A court in Italy has condemned a captain to a year in prison for turning over migrants rescued by his ship’s crew to the Libyan coast guard in 2018. 

According to the court’s ruling, ship captain has been sentenced to one-year jail term who returned 101 migrants rescued at sea to crisis-hit Libya.

The ruling by Naples judge Maria Luisa Miranda, first published by Avvenire, was unique in Italy. It came following a 2012 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights against Italy for sending migrants back to Tripoli in 2009.

Human rights organizations and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hailed the move and called it “an important first step.”

“But [it is] not enough: we need a radical change in the policies of Italy and Europe to immediately stop interceptions at sea and the system of forced returns,” it said.

In 2018, the rescue occurred near the Sabratha platform, controlled by Mellitah Oil & Gas, a Libyan National Oil Corporation and ENI venture. 

There were five adolescents and five pregnant women were rescued from the unseaworthy dinghy.

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