At least 1 500 people are known to have lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2011.

Opening sentence of the report “Lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea: Who is responsible?” by Dutch Euro Parliamentarian Ms. Tineke Strik (of the Socialist Party).

The report, presented yesterday at the Council of Europe, details the lack of protection that undocumented migrants and asylum seekers from Africa face while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Ms. Strik led the Parliamentary Commission that set to investigate NATO responsibilities after the British newspaper The Guardian published the investigation “Aircraft carrier left us to die, say migrants”.

From the report:

The President of the Parliamentary Assembly reacted immediately to the article, expressing distress and deep concern, saying that if the allegations were true, then it was a dark day for Europe as a whole. On the basis of this concern, the President called for an inquiry.

Now, I don’t want to entirely dismiss the President’s distress and concern, however, I find it rather facetious that he would be so distressed over this particular case when it is known that there have been 16,264 deaths of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers either trying to reach the EU or already in EU detention camps since the mid 90s (report last updated one month ago). These camps, which can only be compared in “living” conditions and detention status to Guantanamo are put in place by no other than the EU itself (and paid for and supported by all member countries). So, I can only be very suspect of a shocked reaction for this one particular case of one particular boat when people have been dying by the thousands per year under the care of the EU.

Previous posts on this subject here, here and here.

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