Im Hafen von Misrata weigern sich bereits seit drei Tagen 93 Geflüchtete beharrlich, wieder libyschen Boden zu betreten. Ein Frachter hatte sie unter falschen Voraussetzungen vor der Küste Libyens aufgenommen und zurück nach Libyen gebracht. Ihnen wurde erzählt, sie würden in Malta landen.

Hier ein Bericht mit einem der Menschen an Bord des Frachters (Rohübersetzung aus Le Monde | 13.11.2018)

[Translated with]

Libya: desperate resistance of migrants intercepted at sea in Misrata port

Ninety-one migrants from the Horn of Africa and South Asia refuse to get off the commercial ship that took them to the port of Misrata in western Libya.

By Frédric Bobin

A tense face-to-face meeting continued in Libya on Tuesday, November 13, for the third day in a row between 91 migrants on board a commercial ship and Libyan security forces deployed on a wharf in Misrata, a port city in the western Tripolitan region of the country. Migrants embarked on a Zodiac who had been rescued at sea by the Panamanian flagged vessel Nivin, before being repatriated by this vessel to Misrata on Sunday, November 11, refused to go ashore.

In front of them, Libyan forces were waiting until Monday late afternoon to intervene. They placed containers along the quayside to better control access to the vessel. For its part, the crew, whose captain is a Lebanese, took refuge in a cabin on the upper floor of the Nivin, apparently fearing for their safety in the face of the migrants who had de facto taken control of the boat. The latter, who wanted to travel to Europe, come from the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea) as well as South Asia (Pakistan, Bangladesh).

„We‘ll never get off, it‘s too dangerous“

Contacted by telephone by Le Monde, a Sudanese migrant, who answers to Mohamed‘s first name, confirmed the occupants‘ refusal to leave the Nivin. „We will never go down,“ he said. It‘s too dangerous. Once ashore, they[the Libyans] will kill us.»

Mohamed says that the Maltese coast was in sight when the Zodiac crossed the road to the Nivin, whose crew offered the migrants to board it.

„They shouted at us „Get in, get in, we‘ll take you,““ says the migrant, specifying that the Zodiac was not in distress. „Instead of taking us to Malta, they took us back to Libya,“ he adds. The Nivine is a cargo ship carrying vehicles, familiar with shuttles between Malta and Misrata.

Some cargo ships comply with Libyan Coast Guard injunctions

The episode raises the question of the behaviour of certain cargo ships in the Mediterranean which, in the absence of humanitarian vessels now obstructed in their rescue missions, comply with the orders of the Libyan coast guard in the event of rescue operations. According to an international source, the Libyan coastguard attempted, in this case, to recover the migrants from the Nivin at sea but, faced with their refusal, demanded that the commercial vessel return the occupants to Misrata.

Returns practices contrary to international law

These practices of „refoulement“ to Libya, which is not considered a „safe country“ – in view of the violence that is taking place there – are denounced by humanitarian organisations as contrary to international law governing the treatment of asylum seekers.

Critical health situation on the third day of the face-to-face meeting

On the third day of the face-to-face meeting in the port of Misrata, the health situation became critical on Tuesday on the Nivin where only representatives of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Médecins sans frontières (MSF) were able to visit the passengers. „There are many unaccompanied minors,“ says a humanitarian source.

Food was delivered on Monday. But medical care is urgent, pleads the migrant Mohamed. „Between twenty and thirty people are injured,“ he says. For the most part, these injuries are burns caused by the essence of the Zodiac. Despite the deteriorating situation on board, migrants‘ determination to stay on board did not seem to ease on Tuesday. „Never, never, never, we will not go down,“ Mohamed repeats. We just want to have a better chance of life in Europe. „Médecins sans frontières on Tuesday called on all stakeholders to „find a peaceful solution“.

Misrata: Die 93 Geflüchteten wollen nicht von Bord