Italian MP Demands Release of Fishermen in Libya

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The Italian Member of Parliament, Matilde Siracusano, stated that eighteen Italian fishermen have been detained in Libya for 100 days, and denounced the government’s inability to find a solution to the crisis.

“For 100 days, the families of the fishermen from the fleet of ‘Mazara del Vallo’ have had endless nights,” said Siracusano. “It is really unacceptable that Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio fail to raise Italy’s voice internationally.” She pointed out that “it is absurd that the European Union has not used its diplomatic weight to talk with the Libyan authorities. There are no convincing justifications for this act.”

Siracusano pointed out that “everyone is a loser in this game, in the government palace, in Brussels, and Strasbourg.” She stressed that her party would continue to demand freedom for their citizens and will remain steadfast in its solidarity with the relatives of detainees.

On 1 September, the Libyan Navy arrested eighteen Italian fishermen for illegally entering Libyan waters. In 2015, four young Libyans in Sicily were sentenced by the magistrates of Catania to 30 years in prison. They were accused of organizing a crossing from Libya, in which 49 migrants died. Libya is seeking a prisoner swap with the Italian government. Rome has claimed it refused to be “blackmailed” over this issue.