NGOs call on Maltese government to halt migrant pushbacks to Libya

Apr 10, 2024 | International actors

On 10 April, twenty-two Maltese organisations and academics called on the Malta government to stop pushing back people at sea to Libya, following allegations that 83 migrants on a boat adrift in Maltese waters had been ‘forcibly intercepted’ by the Libyan Coastguard and returned to Libya, instead of being rescued and taken to a safe port. In the statement, the NGOs expressed ‘extreme concern’ at reports alleging that Malta had ‘somehow permitted the Libyan authorities to enter Malta’s rescue zone and to return the people to Libya.’ They stressed that Libya is not safe country, especially not for migrants.

In his briefing on 16 April to the UNSC, UN Special Envoy to Libya Abdoulaye Bathily indicated his concern about the dire situation for migrants and refugees in Libya, urging regional cooperation to protect migrants.