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19 Jul 2018

Italy refuses to take bodies of dead migrant and child who drowned in Mediterranean Sea

Italy has been criticised after refusing to take the bodies of two dead migrants who drowned while being trafficked in the Mediterranean Sea.

The woman and child were found 80 miles from the Libyan coast on Tuesday after their boat, which contained 160 migrants, was intercepted by authorities.

NGO Proactiva Open Arms claimed two women and a toddler had refused to board the Libyan vessels and were abandoned in the sea after the Libyan coast guard destroyed the migrants’ boat.

Miraculously, one of the women survived and she was taken in by Italy but the country apparently refused to receive the two deceased migrants.
The little boy and woman were found alongside a survivor 80 nautical miles from the Libyan coast. (Picture: AP)

Proactiva wrote on Twitter: ‘It is incomprehensible that they agreed to receive the rescued woman, who is suffering from severe hypothermia, but did not show the same willingness for the two corpses.’

Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini also responded to the allegations on the social network after reading an article, adding: ‘With all possible respect for the shepherd of Souls, instead of encouraging the arrival in Europe of the poor of all Africa, my duty to the government is to think first of the millions of poor Italians. Mistake?’
Italy refuses to take bodies of dead migrant and child who drowned in Mediterranean Sea
Proactiva were searching for somewhere to take the corpses. The group’s head, Oscar Camps, blamed the Italian government’s cooperation with Libyan authorities for the death of the woman and the toddler.

He said: ‘This is the direct consequence of contracting armed militias to make the rest of Europe believe that Libya is a state, a government and a safe country.’

The migrant aid group accused Libya’s coast guard of abandoning three people in the Mediterranean Sea after destroying their migrant boat.
Libyan Coast Guard spokesman Ayoub Gassim said earlier that a boat carrying 158 passengers including 34 women and nine children had been stopped Monday off the coast. (Picture: AFP)
Mr Camps added: ‘The blame for this crime falls on Matteo Salvini’s policies.’ Around 1,443 people are dead or missing in the dangerous Mediterranean Sea route up to July 15 this year, according to the UN migration agency.

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