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British Arab Network Chairman calls for international people smugglers to be tackled in RT Arabic TV interview

22 May 2015, by BritishArab Network - In the Media

rt arabic boatsrt arabic boats 2

Dr. Wafik Moustafa, Chairman of the British Arab Network, has called for action against people smugglers after the deaths in the Mediterranean boat tragedy in an interview with RT Arabic TV.  More than 750 migrants died when a boat capsized off the coast of Libya on 18th April.

Dr. Moustafa said:

“Europe’s authorities have to pursue and break the people smugglers networks at every level and bring them to justice. I condemn the imprisoning and torture of refugees by people smugglers. They should be treated humanely in their countries of origin irrespective of their nationalities. The UK and other European Governments’ must work with African countries and others from where the migrants come to raise awareness and prevent people being exploited by smugglers. The media in foreign countries should also play a role in raising awareness.”


Mediterranean boat disaster

30 April 2015

At least 200 Senegalese died in the boat disaster off the coast of Libya earlier this month, officials say.

More than 750 migrants are thought to have died when the boat capsized off the coast of Libya on 18 April.

According to the UN, 350 Eritreans died in the disaster. Other nationalities on board included migrants from Syria, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Gambia, Ivory Coast and Ethiopia.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says that in the first quarter of 2015, the highest proportion of migrants arriving in Italy have been from the Gambia, Senegal, Somalia, Syria, Mali and Eritrea respectively.

The suspected captain of the boat, a Tunisian national, appeared in court last Friday on the Italian island of Sicily.

Prosecutors want to charge Mohammed Ali Malek, a 27-year-old Tunisian, with homicide and people-trafficking.

More than 35,000 are thought to have crossed from Africa to Europe this year and some 1,750 have died while attempting the journey.

The IOM says that the number of migrants dying on the Mediterranean crossing is roughly 30 times higher than for the same period last year.