Woman 'abandoned' by Libyan coast guard recovering in Spain
October 10 at 12:46 PM
ROME â" A woman who was left behind at sea by Libyaâs coast guard, sparking international outrage, has written to her Spanish rescuers and assured them Wednesday she is being well taken care of in Spain.
The Cameroonian woman, identified only as Josepha, was rescued by the Spanish aid group Proactiva Open Arms on July 17, at the height of controversy over Italyâs anti-migrant crackdown.
Proactiva accused the Libyan coast guard of abandoning Josepha and two others after intercepting some 160 Europe-bound migrants. The aid group said the three had refused to board the Libyan vessels and were left behind. Two of them died.
In a letter said to be written by Josepha, provided by Proactiva Wednesday, the migrant recounted that âwhen they abandoned me, they all left with another boat, I thought I was already dead.â
She has begun to walk again, and said she is being cared for by âpeople with a big heart. They are taking care of me. I never met people like this before in all my life.â
Josephaâs case fueled outrage at Italyâs insistence that the Libyan coast guard spearhead rescues and bring migrants back, despite international consensus that Libya doesnât constitute a secure port.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has pressed the policy, and his predecessor Marco Minniti was fundamental in funding and equipping the Libyan coast guard to better patrol Libyaâs coasts to keep migrants from reaching Europe.
This week, Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi conceded that in legal terms, âLibya cannot be considered a secure port,â since it hasnât signed relevant international conventions.
Proactiva filed a formal complaint on Josephaâs behalf in Spanish courts alleging she was abandoned. Other aid groups have challenged Italyâs policy in the European Court of Human Rights, accusing it of violating migrantsâ rights by âsubcontractingâ rescue work to Libya.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Source: Google News Spain | Netizen 24 Spain