Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Europe, Nils Muiznieks, has issued warnings over Malta’s collusion with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA).
In press statements to the ‘Times of Malta’ on the International Human Rights Day, Muiznieks said that cooperation between Maltese authorities and the GNA on illegal immigration constitutes a violation of human rights. He stressed that no immigrant should be returned to Libya. “There were very serious, well-documented human rights violations, and Europe has a responsibility to refrain from pushing people there or paying Libya to bring people back,” he said.
Muiznieks stated, “We have to be very careful in how we cooperate with the Libyan government so that we don’t become complicit in the human rights violations perpetrated there. Right now, the EU, Italy, and Malta are complicit… we are turning a blind eye to the violations taking place in Libya and incentivizing the country to disembark people who are then put in horrendous conditions.”
He urged “extreme caution”, saying it was “highly problematic” to cooperate with Libya by giving it funds, assistance, boats and informing it about vessels carrying migrants.