North Africa: Sinking of Mediterranean Migrant Boat Amounts to ‘Mass Murder’ – UN Rights Chief

The UN’s top human rights official today urged Egypt and other North African and European States to help bring to justice the people smugglers who allegedly deliberately sank a boat causing the deaths of hundreds of refugees and migrants in last week’s “truly horrendous incident” in the Mediterranean.

“It is the duty of States to investigate such atrocious crimes, bring the perpetrators to justice, and even more importantly to do more to prevent them from happening in the first place,” High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a press release issued in Geneva.

“All the countries in the Mediterranean must make a concerted effort to clamp down on the smugglers who are exploiting one of the most vulnerable groups on the planet and endangering their lives, virtually on a daily basis, purely for financial gain,” he said.

In the press release, which contained a wider analysis of the need to tackle the root causes of migrant and refugee movements, the High Commissioner stressed that it was crucial to bring to an end the prevailing impunity surrounding such crimes, and he urged States to do more to address the core issues driving people to make such dangerous journeys.

“The callous act of deliberately ramming a boat full of hundreds of defenceless people is a crime that must not go unpunished,” he said “If the survivors’ accounts are indeed true – and they appear all too credible – we are looking at what amounts to mass murder in the Mediterranean.”

Continue reading…

Photo Credits: Jeremy Relph/IRIN

Leave a Reply