12.22 PM, June 26 2020
Mediterranea Saving Humans’ Mare Jonio ship, currently on patrol in the Central Mediterranean, received a mayday message at 12:22 p.m. today, sent by Alarm Phone to all authorities competent for the area. The mayday message mentioned a black dinghy in distress, carrying about 95 passengers, including 8 children and 20 women, one of whom apparently gave birth during navigation. They left at 11:30pm from Al Khoms, Lybia. They are currently 50 miles east of Misurata, adrift with a broken engine, about 80 miles from our current position.
The Mare Jonio immediately offered to intervene, and is currently heading in that direction at full speed.
We have also realised that the military ships of Eunavformed’s Operation IRINI are operating in the area closest to the dinghy. We have therefore written to MRCC Rome and Eunavformed HQ, asking for these European military ships to intervene urgently, in order to save the lives of these 95 people, and prevent them from being deported back to the Libyan hell they are trying to escape. We emphatically demand this to the Italian Government and the European institutions.
“We can see on our radar on the Mare Jonio that the Libyans have gotten really close to the dinghy in distress, carrying 90 people on board.Soon, dozens of people, including a newborn baby, will be captured and taken back to the Libyan torture camps, with the full responsibility of Italy, which launched the distress signal, but did not intervene after doing so.
We immediately headed to the coordinates of the dinghy reported by Watch The Med – Alarm Phone but we are still too far away. Meanwhile, once again, a crime against humanity is about to be committed, financed by Italian citizens through the country’s funding of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard”.
A patrol boat of the so-called Libyan Coast Guard intercepted and captured “over 70 people” including women and young children on board the dinghy reported by Watch The Med – alarm Phone 52 miles northeast of Misrata.
Our ship Mare Jonio, which was only a few miles away, offered to embark the shipwrecked people onto a safer asset, which could guarantee adequate medical care. The Libyan militias refused.
The command of the Libyan patrol boat refused to provide any information about the presence of eight dead people and a woman who allegedly gave birth on board, as the shipwrecked people had previously reported.
Once again, the money and means provided by Italy to Libya, along with the cooperation of other European governments, have led to the deportation of refugees to a country at war.