EU Calls on Libyan Authorities to Release Italian Fishermen


On Friday, the European Union appealed to Libyan authorities to immediately release the Italian fishermen detained in Benghazi since September.

This appeal came in the final document of the European summit, which was held on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

The Sicilian fishermen were arrested by the Libyan National Army (LNA) over charges of fishing in Libyan territorial waters.

Italian MPs described the European appeal as “a positive thing, even if it is a little late.” “After the fishermen were arrested for more than 100 days, we have seen from the government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio only words and good intentions, but in reality there has been no progress in the case,” the Italian opposition MPs said.

On 1 September, the LNA Navy arrested 18 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 organising a crossing from Libya, in which 49 migrants died. Libya is seeking a prisoner swap with the Italian government.