Libya – As desperate migrants try hazardous sea crossings to enter Europe, Libyan Red Crescent recovery teams retrieved the bodies of four people from a beach near Sabratha, 70 kilometers (43 miles) west of Tripoli, on Thursday.
Mohamed Al-Manobi, the commander of the recovery team, said the remains that had washed up on the shore had been reported to police on Tuesday and had been investigated by prosecutors and a forensic doctor before his team was summoned. Al-Manobi went on to say that the recovery crew has been working since 2014, despite working in “various tough circumstances.”
He explained that the crew works without health insurance and is made up of young individuals who volunteer to do the work. According to the United Nations’ migration agency, 75 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea north of Libya earlier this week as they attempted to reach Italy by boat, the agency said.
The 15 survivors were rescued by fishermen and transported to the port of Zuwara in northeastern Libya on Saturday, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Thousands of migrants and refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia attempt the perilous Mediterranean Sea crossing to Europe each year, frequently in overcrowded and unseaworthy boats. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), more than 1,300 men, women, and children have died trying to cross the Central Mediterranean from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and Malta so far in 2021.
Human rights organizations frequently criticize European governments for failing to do more to rescue migrants attempting to enter Europe on unseaworthy vessels. Rescue efforts in the central Mediterranean, led by Italy, were scaled back a few years ago in favor of training and equipping the Libyan coast guard to intercept migrant boats before they reach European waters. Critics claim that Europe is turning a blind eye to human rights violations in Libyan migrant detention centers.