BREAKING NEWS – From Mare Jonio, engaged in patrolling and monitoring operations in the Central Mediterranean

We denounce a capture and deportation in an area of war of 80 people onboard a white rubber boat 65 miles north of Al Khoms.

The patrol boat “Sabratah 654”, of the the so-called “Libyan coast guard”, performed the operation today between 6.30 and 7pm: the capture of people flying from war and their deportation to the conflict area is an obvious and absolute violation of all international conventions on human rights.

The crime was committed under observation and with communication through VHF channel with a Maltese Air Force “AS1126” aircraft, which is currently flying over a second boat, with 100 people attempting to escape from Libya.

Mare Jonio, besides informing Italian authorities, is heading toward the position of this second boat. It has asked MRCC Italy for instructions, pointing out that there is an explicit prohibition to deport refugees to war zones. Libyan vessels are also heading toward the boat, while the Maltese military aircraft is getting away.

Updates will follow.