Ethiopian Lampedusa Survivors Sues NATO

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By Aljazeera,

An Ethiopian refugee is suing the French and Spanish military for failing to help him and 72 other migrants who were stranded at sea in 2011.

Abu Kebato was one of only nine people who survived after two weeks adrift in the Mediterranean, while NATO ships and planes patrolled nearby.

Initiating Legal action against the Italian Coast Guard is timely
Initiating Legal action against the Italian Coast Guard is timely

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

On October 3rd, a boat carrying about 500 African migrants caught fire and sank off two kilometers away from the Italian coast of Lampedusa. More than 366 people, mostly Eritreans died while around 155 survived.

A lot of these survivors were claiming seeing two small speed boats flashing red emergency lights came within 50 meters of their boat, circled around it twice, and left without providing any assistance. Why? Where did these speed boats come from? Who dispatched them? Are there any recordings of the communication between these speed boats and the Italian Coast Guard?

According to private fisherman Vito Fiorino, who arrived first at the site of the accident at around 7:30 a.m. accused the Italian coastguard for slow response by taking more than 50 minutes to reach the scene. What was the cause of the delay? Why they refused to take on board some of the struggling migrants in the water than wasting time by filming them? How many more lives could have been saved had there not been a delay and departure from standard protocol by the Italian Coast Guard?

Three fishermen also seen drove straight past the scene of the accident. They didn’t even make an effort to rescue some lives or call for help fearing a backlash from the Italian law that criminalizes anyone found helping or rescuing migrants on the high seas. Why troubled migrants on the high seas wanted to be left dead?

Strange as it may sound, why is that necessary to place survivors under investigation for “clandestine immigration” inside a concentration camp while granting full citizenship for the dead?

This is an eye opener case and I believe it is high time for the 154 survivors to follow suite of the Ethiopian migrant Abu Kebato to start take legal action against the Italian government for the unnecessary loss of lives.
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