Gemeinsam mit den Europaabgeordneten Péter Niedermüller, Soraya Post, Elly Schlein, Birgit Sippel und Josef Weidenholzer hat Dietmar an die Kommissions-Vizepräsidentin Mogherini einen Brief geschrieben, in dem sie fordern, endlich gegen die Zustände in Libyen und das Verhalten der sogenannten Libyschen Küstenwache vorzugehen. “Wieder und wieder werden wir Zeuge von Berichten, wie die Libysche Küstenwache grundlegende Rechte verletzt. Aufgrund dessen fordern wir Sie auf, alles in ihrer Macht stehende zu tun, um diese Verletzung grundlegender Rechte zu verhindern.” Der ganze Brief ist hier zu finden:
Dear High Representative / Vice-President Mogherini,
we are writing to you concerning the incident on November 6 on the Central Mediterranean Sea, in which various ships including the crew of the civil society sea rescue boat “Sea-Watch 3” coordinated by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Rome came to the rescue of a rubber dinghy, which had previously sent a call of emergency. According to the account of Sea-Watch the Libyan Coast Guard rushed to take people on board 30 NM from Tripoli, outside any kind of Libyan jurisdiction and without respecting the “on -scene command” by Sea-Watch, a command which had been also recognised by the Italian marine helicopter and the French naval vessel. Despite several attempts to call the Libyan coast guard boat to order, the Coast Guard continued to take people on board, resorting to violence and force. When due to a panic on the ship the boat of the Libyan coast guard rapidly started a return several people fell or jumped from the ship. On account of the NGO, the Coast Guard started the return, despite the fact, that people were clinging to the boat from outside. As no answer was provided on the emergency line 16 an Italian Marine helicopter was forced to intervene and prevent further deaths. The only legitimate action to undertake in this situation is one of rescue and provision of assistance to avoid loss of life. The endangerment of human lives also puts the safety of maritime traffic in jeopardy. In this case, the action of the Libyan Coast Guard has led to at least five people’s death, including one child.
Should this account be correct, it becomes evident that this incident could have been avoided had the Libyan Coast Guard accepted the rescue organizations “on scene command” to save peoples’ lives. Taken the European Unions financial, material and training support to the Libyan Coast Guard, a responsibility to investigate arises.
We would therefore call on you to fully investigate and to clarify this incident and to provide a detailed account on what happened. We furthermore would kindly ask you to specify the following information:
- What is your assessment of the incident? Following your assessment have Art 98 UNCLOS and SAR/SOLAS Convention rules been breached by the Libyan Border and Coast Guard?
- What is the content of the Training curriculum of the Libyan Coast Guard as conducted by EUNAVFOR MED? Could you provide us a detailed overview of the training sessions, participants and formats used? We would furthermore kindly ask whether an external assessment of the curriculum is being foreseen, and if not ask for such an assessment to be initiated.
- Could you specify what material and support has been provided to the Libyan Coast Guard by the EU and by member states?
- Could you furthermore specify the tasks and operations conducted by the European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) in Libya?
Again and again we witness reports that the Libyan Coast Guard is breaching fundamental rights. With this in view, we urge you to do all in your powers to prevent fundamental right abuses like this from happening. We furthermore urge you to review the Commissions Libya strategy in light of recent reports on detention, slavery and inhuman living conditions.