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German Foreign Minister: Without our support for the Libyan Coast Guard thousands would have sunk into the sea

Recent criticism by the UN of mishandling by the European Union and member states of the immigration crisis in Libya has triggered responses from those countries actively working to limit the arrival of illegal immigrants at their shores. At a press conference held in Italy on Wednesday with Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel said that in Libyan-controlled detention camps torture, violence, and even slavery were on the daily agenda, according to the Italian news agency Aki.

Gabriel, stated that “if we stopped” supporting the Libyan Coast Guard, the result would have been the sinking of thousands in the Mediterranean. He also expressed that leaving the responsibility for monitoring the centers to the UN and IOM would be successful only if they are able to “create a functioning state in Libya.”

In a statement issued last Tuesday, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al-Hussein “expressed his dismay at the sharp increase in the number of migrants detained in appalling conditions in detention centers in Libya.” He added that “the policy of the European Union is to help the Libyan Coast Guard intercept migrants in the Mediterranean and that the returning of migrants is inhumane”.

Al-Hussein stated that “the suffering of migrants detained in Libya is a source of indignation,” before proceeding on to say that “what was a terrible situation has now become a catastrophic situation”.

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