The massacre news from the Mediterranean Sea continue to appear in the media. In February, 300 refugees lost their lives in the cold waters of the Mediterranean Sea. 400 people were reported dead on 12 April, and 700 more people died after the incident on 19 June.
Refugee deaths have turned into bigger tragedies and wide scale massacres because of the lack of measures and rescue operations while it was possible. Last year, Italy cancelled the rescue operation called “Mare Nostrum” showing the fact that they received no support from the EU and the expenses were high as reason. In the past 20 years, around 25,000 refugees lost their lives, 4000 of whom drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in 2014.
Countries responsible for the civil wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Libya are doing nothing to avert this humanitarian crisis. While the civil war and armed conflicts, unsafe and unsteady totalitarian regimes persist in North Africa and the Middle East, members of the European Union ignore the massacres and avoid fulfilling their responsibilities towards humanity. What is worse, EU does not make the same expense it made to guard its borders to save the lives of the refugees. The operations done by the EU to guard its external borders, such as Frontex and Triton, paves the way for massacres more than it does for the border security.
While people try to run away from wars and oppression, and death toll in the Mediterranean Sea increases every day, the EU keeps ignoring the massacre-like refugee deaths and do not seem to regard refugees humans. When it is considered that the refugees are mostly from Libya, Somalia, Iraq and Syria, it can be asserted that the EU and the member states have political responsibilities in countries they intervene under NATO or the other coalitions. Therefore, the EU is directly and indirectly responsible for the death of refugees fleeing from occupation or civil war. Making no effort to prevent the massacres in the Mediterranean and ignoring the deaths leads to more tragedy.
We invite the European Union to fulfill its humanitarian responsibilities due to massacre news we receive one after the other: take responsibility for the humanitarian crises in areas of civil war and conflict, change your Mediterranean policy to stop the refugee massacres, take action to save the refugees in the sea!
MAZLUMDER The Committee for Refugee Rights