2 Nigerians join 15 other migrants to sue Italy for supporting Libyan coast guards

The migrants claimed that the Italian government supported Libya’s efforts to return them to the North African country.

Two Nigerian migrants that survived a deadly sea crossing on November 6, 2017, have joined 15 other migrants to file a lawsuit against Italy for violating their rights.

The migrants claimed that the Italian government supported Libya’s efforts to return them to the North African country, Reuters reports.

The petition

On Tuesday, April 8, 2018, the migrants’ lawyers said the European Court of Human Rights was petitioned on the alleged violation of human rights of the 17 migrants cum plaintiffs.

In the petition, the migrants claimed that Italy violated multiple articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.

According to Violeta Moreno-Lax, a legal advisor for the Global Legal Action Network and one of the four lawyers of the migrants, the Italian authorities violated articles of the EC on Human Rights that included people not be subjected to torture, held in slavery, or have their lives put in danger.

Speaking further on the suit, Moreno-Lax said: “Using the Libyan Coast Guard as a proxy to turn back migrant boats is just a new way of camouflaging (Italy’s) strategy of fighting irregular migration in the Mediterranean by trapping them in what the Italian Foreign Ministry itself has qualified as ‘the hell’ of Libya.”

Nigerian migrants narrate experience in the hands of Libyans authority

The two Nigerians amongst the 17 plaintiffs in the lawsuit were reportedly intercepted and returned to Libya.

The Nigerians said while in Libya, they were held for two months in a detention center where they were subjected to beatings and extortion.

The plaintiffs further claimed that basic food and healthcare was not provided while in detention, before returning to Nigeria with the International Organization for Migration.

How Nigerian migrants were rescued by German humanitarian ship

According to Reuters’ report, the 17 plaintiffs that instituted the lawsuit against Italy were rescued at sea on November 6, 2017.

During the rescue, 20 migrants reportedly drowned when a part of their rubber boat deflated on the Mediterranean sea.

59 people were reportedly rescued by the German humanitarian ship Sea Watch 3 on the day while the body of a small child was collected by the rescuers.

The Libyan naval vessel, which had been donated by Italy and was operated mainly by a crew trained by the EU, returned 47 of the 59 rescued people to Libya.

The Libyans were allegedly seen beating the migrants they intercepted with a rope in a video shot by Sea Watch.

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