Libyan Coast Guard denies accusations of being cause of death for migrants at sea
Spokesman for the Libyan Navy, Brigadier General Ayoub Qassem, has denied accusations by international organizations to the Libyan Coast Guard of being a cause of death for migrants at sea, insisting that they are carrying out rescue operations in accordance with international standards.
He also underscored that such accusations are part of the war waged by these organizations against the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard to undermine their successes in fighting the phenomenon of illegal immigration.
Meanwhile, SOS Méditerranée, a European, maritime-humanitarian organisation for the rescue of life at sea, has requested the European authorities to set up a safe landing point to disembark around 104 illegal migrants, which it rescued Friday, via its humanitarian vessel, (Ocean Viking) from off the coast of Libya, according to AFP.
The ship had picked up the 104 migrants from a rubber boat 50 miles off the coast of Libya. The migrants included 40 minors, 30 per cent of them were unaccompanied, in addition to two pregnant women.
The operation comes two days after the disembarking of 176 migrants in Taranto, Italy.
According to AFP, the Libyan Coast Guard proposed to the Ocean Viking crew to disembark the migrants in Tripoli, but the crew refused, saying that according to international law "all ports in Libya are not safe".