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National organization for rights and freedoms condemns Saudi airstrike on Somali Refugees

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Concerning the attack to a boat carrying dozens of African migrants on Thursday night by the alliance of Saudi aggression off the Yemeni coast of Hodeida, the National Organization for Rights and Freedoms stressed that it was a disgrace to the United Nations Security Council. The organizational so declared in a statement that it was a war crime and the statement denounced the continuation of war crimes and violations against the Yemeni people, whose civilian’s boats and fishermen are targeted be side African refugees. In fine the statement called on the United Nations and its Security Council to stop the war, the bloody war crimes and the economic blockade against the Yemeni people.

Unicef said: Women and children in Africa are beaten and raped, Armed groups have taken control of detention centres for migrants

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Women and children making the dangerous journey to Europe to flee poverty and conflicts in Africa are being beaten, raped and starved in “living hellholes” in Libya, the United Nations children’s agency (Unicef) said on Tuesday. There were a quarter of a million migrants in Libya as of last September, most of whom languish in unsanitary, disease-ridden detention centres which Unicef described in its report as “no more than forced labour camps and makeshift prisons”. Armed groups have taken effective control of official detention centres for migrants amid the political chaos that now reigns in Libya and they also run their own centres, competing and cooperating with criminal gangs and smugglers, according to the United Nations. “For the thousands of migrant women and children incarcerated, (the centres) were living hellholes where people were held for months”, the Unicef report said on Tuesday. In interviews with more than 100 women and children, nearly half said they had been raped or abused several times during their journey, it said. Most of the children said they were beaten by adults along the way, with girls suffering more abuse than boys. “So many people are dying here, dying from disease, freezing to death”, he was quoted as saying in the report. Unicef said women and unaccompanied child migrants rely on people smugglers to get to Europe, often under a “pay as you go system” leaving them vulnerable to exploitation, trafficking and violence, including prostitution and rape.

Catania’s prosecutor: check NGOs for any links with the smugglers

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Italy is looking more closely at the role of privately-funded rescue operations that have been plucking migrants from the seas off Libya and into the possibility that there may be collusion between smugglers and some of the rescuers. A Sicilian prosecutor has told the news agency AFP that the cost and sophistication of the rescue operations had attracted attention. “There is an abnormal proliferation of NGOs [Non-Government Organisations] operating “ said Carmelo Zuccaro, Catania’s prosecutor, “I’m not talking about the big, prestigious organisations, but all the small ones that seem to have sophisticated hardware, such as drones” Zuccaro said that in 2013 his office had begun its own monitoring of migrant trafficking. Because of their expensive equipment and its interest in their sources of funding, it had now started to check NGOs for any links with the smugglers. It seems clear that the European border security force Frontex has been watching the movement of rescue vessels just as it has been seeking to monitor the trafficking gangs that have been launching migrants from the coast of western Libya. Such observation will have included the interception of radio traffic.

Sea-Watch asks the EU to reflect upone the planned training of Libyan Coastguard

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The migrant rescue from Sea-Watch has warned the EU to “reflect” on its planned training of Libyan coastguards following what it insists was a coastguard attack last week on one of its operations. This led to the drowning of up to 20 migrants from around 160 on an inflatable raft. Navy spokesman Colonel Ayyub Gassem has denied that any coastguard vessel was involved. Pictures published by Sea-Watch show the intruding vessel sporting a decal on the rear superstructure . It does not appear to be the normal design for the Libyan navy seal. Sea-Watch asserts that the attack was a blatant violation of international law, created danger and mass panic, and that the coastguard failed to carry out its search and rescue duty. “In light of this incident,” says Sea-Watch, “we demand the EU to reflect upon the planned training of the Libyan Coastguard, when this includes self-styled authorities operating in a manner that represents a blatant violation of international maritime and human rights law”.

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