EU should face court over its cruel policy on Mediterranean refugees

In 2014 the European Union and its member state Governments including Ireland decided to halt the Italian led rescue operation in the Mediterranean called Mare Nostrum, which had successfully rescued about 140,000 refugees fleeing poverty, famine, conflicts and human rights abuses in the Middle East and Africa.

EU should face court over its cruel policy on Mediterranean refugees

The EU and other Western governments have played a significant role in the destabilisation and overthrow of governments across the Middle East thereby fuelling the refugee crisis. There are clear legal and human rights duties on all governments and international organisations to come to the aid and rescue of individuals in distress who are at immediate risk of death.

The decision by the EU to end Mare Nostrum amounts to a breach of human rights obligations and could arguably be a crime against humanity.

The EU should be brought before the European Court of Human Rights, and possibly before the International Criminal Court in The Hague to answer charges in these matters.

It brings shame on all EU citizens that our governments knowingly made a decision to stop rescuing people of our shared humanity just because they are considered to be ‘them and not us’ or ‘insignificant others’.

There are now indications that the so-called international community may exacerbate the situation by further military action in Libya in an arguably doomed attempt to stop this flow of desperate refugees.

Dr Edward Horgan

Newtown

Castletroy

Limerick

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