UNHCR / LIBYA MIGRANTS DEATHS

25-Jul-2019 00:01:19
Following the deadliest shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea so far this year, in which some 150 people is believed to have died, the UN refugee agency called for “more search and rescue boats operating on the Mediterranean as well as the immediate release of people from these detention centres in Libya.” UNHCR
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STORY: UNHCR / LIBYA MIGRANTS DEATHS
TRT: 1:19
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 25 JULY 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. SOUNDBITE (English) Charlie Yaxley, Spokesperson for Mediterranean and Africa, UNHCR:
“A group of 300 people left Al-Khums in Libya by boat, we understood that they then come into distress and were rescued initially by a local finisherman and then also by the Libyan coast guard. They were able to rescue around 147 survivors who have now been brought back to Libya. Our teams on the ground providing them with aid and assistance and medical care. And they tell that another group of around 150 people died at sea on that boat and that would make this the largest shipwreck of 2019. This tragedy has to now lead to action. It's come just weeks after we saw more than 50 people lose their lives after an airstrike hit Tajoura detention centre. We must now see a change in approach to the situation in Libya and the Mediterranean that has, as its core, saving lives as a priority. We must see more search and rescue boats operating on the Mediterranean as well as the immediate release of people from these detention centres in Libya and for states to help us evacuate refugees out of Libya to safety."
STORYLINE
According to testimony from survivors, it is estimated that some 150 people have died at sea, which would make this the largest shipwreck on the Mediterranean in 2019, highlighting once again the need for a shift in approach to the Mediterranean situation.

“This tragedy has to now lead to action, said Charlie Yaxley, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). “We must now see a change in approach to the situation in Libya and the Mediterranean that has, as its core, saving lives as a priority.”

He also said, “we must see more search and rescue boats operating on the Mediterranean as well as the immediate release of people from these detention centres in Libya and for states to help us evacuate refugees out of Libya to safety."

UNHCR reported that an estimated 147 have been rescued and taken back to Al-Khoms in Libya, from where the boat initially departed. Survivors say they were initially rescued by local fishermen before further assistance arrived from the Libyan Coast Guard. Two people have been immediately transferred to hospital in critical condition. UNHCR with its partner is on the ground is providing aid and medical care.
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