Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

3 October 2013

Italy: More than 100 migrants die in second horrific shipwreck this week

Italy: More than 100 migrants die in second horrific shipwreck this week
More than 100 migrants died off the coast of Lampedusa in the latest tragic accident.

More than 100 migrants died off the coast of Lampedusa in the latest tragic accident.

© STR/AFP/Getty Images


The waters around the small island of Lampedusa have again tragically become a graveyard for migrants. These grim events keep repeating themselves as thousands of people make the perilous trip across the Mediterranean to seek protection or a better life
Source: 
Jezerca Tigani, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Programme
Date: 
Thu, 03/10/2013

The Italian authorities and the European Union must redouble efforts to patrol their shores and assist migrants in order to prevent further tragic loss of life, Amnesty International said after at least 100 people, including children, perished off the coast of Italy on Thursday morning. 

The boat – which was reportedly from Libya – was apparently carrying more than 500 migrants, mainly from Eritrea and Somalia, when it caught fire and sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa. Around 120 people have been rescued and more than 100 bodies have so far been brought to shore. Many more are still missing.

“The waters around the small island of Lampedusa have again tragically become a graveyard for migrants. These grim events keep repeating themselves as thousands of people make the perilous trip across the Mediterranean to seek protection or a better life,” said Jezerca Tigani, deputy director of Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Programme.

“It is high time the Italian authorities and the EU increase their search-and-rescue capacity and co-operation in the Mediterranean Sea, rather than concentrating resources on closing off the borders. More must be done to prevent further loss of life in the future.”

Survivors have described the horrific ordeal they endured in this latest tragedy – dead bodies floating in the water as crews from fishing vessels frantically tried to rescue the living.

Another boat carrying more than 460 migrants arrived in Lampedusa shortly before today’s shipwreck. Those on board are now housed at the island’s centre for migrants, which currently hosts some 700 people.

This is the second shipwreck of a migrant boat off Italy’s coast this week.

On 30 September, 13 mostly Eritrean migrants drowned when the boat carrying them ran aground off Ragusa in Sicily. The traffickers (scafisti) on board the sinking vessel reportedly forced the migrants to jump to their deaths in the sea by whipping them and threatening them with knives.

Country

Italy 

Region

Europe And Central Asia 

Issue

Refugees, Displaced People And Migrants 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

22 July 2014

The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations, Amnesty International said as it... Read more »

23 July 2014

An undocumented migrant who was arrested and tortured by the Mexican police and army is currently facing an unfair trial solely because of his ethnicity and should be released... Read more »

22 July 2014

Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said.

Read more »
24 July 2014

Poland is the first European Union member state to be found complicit in the USA’s rendition, secret detention, and torture of alleged terrorism suspects, Amnesty International... Read more »

21 July 2014

Ahead of a legal intervention by Amnesty International and others in the rendition case of the Libyan national Abdul-Hakim Belhaj, Amnesty International... Read more »