Over 100 illegal immigrants drown off Libyan coast: report

About 100 migrants are crowded together on deck of the rescue ship "Eleonore". The "Eleonore" took in the migrants on 26.08.2019 off the Libyan coast./ Getty Images)
31 August 2019, —: Around 100 migrants stand and lie tightly packed on deck of the rescue ship “Eleonore” in the early hours of the morning. The “Eleonore” took in the migrants on 26.08.2019 off the Libyan coast. The people were rescued while their boat was sinking, said Axel Steier, spokesman for the Dresden aid organisation Mission Lifeline, which supports the “Eleonore”. Photo: Johannes Filous/dpa (Photo by Johannes Filous/picture alliance via Getty Images)

More than 100 illegal immigrants have drowned when their boat capsized off the Libyan coast, Eugenio Ambrosi, chief of staff of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), revealed later Thursday.

“Reports of at least 100 lives lost in the Central Mediterranean today,” Ambrosi tweeted. “These are the human consequences of policies which fail to uphold international law and the most basic of humanitarian imperatives.”

Libya has become a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants who attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach European shores.

In 2020, a total of 11,891 illegal immigrants were rescued and returned to Libya, the IOM said, adding that 381 died and 597 others went missing on the Central Mediterranean route last year.

The rescued were sent to overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.

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