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Charlie Andreasson

Human Right Defender



In the central Mediterranean


Today, Thursday 17, Médecins Sans Frontières announced that the Geo Barents was assigned Augusta, Sicily, as Place of Safety for the survivors onboard. 410 people were rescued in seven operations conducted in the Libyan and the Maltese Search and Rescue regions between June 10 and 13. 

On June 16, Nadir, the new sailboat  of the NGO ResQship rescued 86 people from a wooden boat adrift in the Maltese search and rescue region. Last night, the survivors were transferred on an Italian coastguard vessel. According to the NGO, prior to the Italian maritime authorities' intervention, the Libyan coastguard had arrived on scene and requested the Nadir crew to transfer the rescued people to their patrol vessels, which the crew refused  

The supply ship “Vos Triton” rescued 270 people in international waters off Libya on 14 June, under the observation of Sea Bird (Sea Watch aerial asset). The next day, the survivors were transferred onto a Libyan coastguard vessel, who forcibly returned them to Libya, from where they were taken into detention by the Libyan authorities according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). In their joint press release, both organisations condemned this return to Libya, which is not a Place of Safety, and reiterated their call for a predictable rescue and disembarkation mechanism along the Central Mediterranean route.

On June 14, in an opening speech of a high-level interparliamentary conference on managing migration and asylum in Europe, the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli reiterated that it is the duty of European Member States to save lives at sea in the Mediterranean and called for the establishment of a European search and rescue mechanism at sea, “which uses the expertise of all actors involved, from Member States to civil society to European agencies.” 

In addition to the boat intercepted by the VOS Triton, on June 14, Seabird spotted 9 other boats in distress. According to Sea-Watch, at least one boat in distress was intercepted and the survivors returned to Libya while 2 other boats in distress were rescued by the Italian Coastguard. 

Frontex stated that it had spotted 19 boats with a total of 800 people onboard through aerial surveillance in the Central Mediterranean over the weekend of June 12 and 13.  

Within one week, between June 6 and 12, IOM reported that over 2000 people in distress in the central Mediterranean were intercepted by the Libyan coastguard and forcibly returned to Libya. On June 13 alone, around 1,000 people faced the same fate according to IOM spokesperson Safa Msehli. Since the beginning of the year, over 13,790 people were returned to Libya. More people have been returned so far this year than in the whole of 2020.   

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and ECRE published an action plan on June 16 including 20 recommendations for EU institutions and member states to protect people on the move along the central Mediterranean route. 


Press review


RTE: Pope says Mediterranean is 'Europe's biggest cemetery' 

Mediterraneo Cronaca: Migrations, in Lampedusa boats and barges for a thousand people 

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and ECRE: Plan of Action: 20 steps to protect people on the move along the central Mediterranean route


Context Update 


On Monday, the Aita Mari was assigned a Place of Safety in Augusta for the 50 survivors rescued four days prior. The disembarkation took place on Monday, all survivors and crew tested negative to COVID-19. The Aita Mari subsequently was granted permission to sail to Burriana, Spain, the next day, without having to quarantine in the port of Augusta. 

On Monday, at least 23 people drowned in a shipwreck off Tunisia, according to the Tunisian Red Crescent as reported by Reuters. The Tunisian Navy rescued 70 of the more than 90 people that had departed from Libya. The same day, the Tunisian Navy rescued 39 people from another boat that sank off the coast of Sfax, Tunisia. 

After disembarking more than 400 people in Pozzallo, the Sea Eye 4 was granted permission to sail to the port of Palermo during the mandatory quarantine for the crew, which was then reduced to 10 days instead of 14. 

In the period of 23-29 May, 495 people were intercepted at sea and forcibly returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard. This brings the number of forced returns to Libya to more than 10,100 this year. For comparison, the total number of interceptions by the Libyan Coast Guard for all of 2020 was just below 12,000. 274 people were intercepted and returned to Libya on Monday. 

The crew of Geo Barents, rescue ship chartered and operated by Médecins Sans Frontières, witnessed interceptions by the Libyan Coast Guard both on Monday and on Tuesday this week. 

More than 260 people were intercepted by the Tunisian Coast Guard and the Tunisian Navy last weekend, as InfoMigrants reported. The people had departed from ports in Libya and Tunisia in an attempt to reach European shores. 

Last week, Italian representatives of SAR NGOs SOS MEDITERRANEE, Emergency, Médecins Sans Frontières, Mediterranea Saving Humans, Open Arms, ResQ-People saving People and Sea-Watch met with the Italian Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese, mainly asking for the establishment of an effective European search and rescue mechanism as well as an end to the criminalization of civil search and rescue activities. The Italian government, in turn, insisted on the need for the respective Flag States of Civilian SAR assets to assist in the provision of safe ports for disembarkation and in relocating survivors after disembarkation, as La Repubblica reported. 

Germany will host a new round of Libyan peace talks in Berlin on June 23, as Deutsche Welle reports. It will be the first time that the transitional government participates in such talks. 


Press Review 


InfoMigrantsMigrant in Libya: "The coast guard is complicit with the traffickers” 

Times of Malta'Go ahead, kill yourselves': Report says Malta guards taunted migrants 

Affari Italiani: Migranti, 2 miliardi alla Libia dall'Ue. Stop agli sbarchi, il piano di Draghi [Migrants, 2 billion to Libya from the EU. Draghi’s plan to stop arrivals] 

The New Humanitarian: A Sicilian fishing town, and the perils of Italy’s migration deal with Libya 

Renew Europe MEPs: Webinar: Commercial shipping and search and rescue in the Mediterranean 

L’0bs: Une jeunesse naufragée [A shipwrecked youth] (attached) 

Mer et Marine: L’Ocean Viking en cale sèche à Naples [The Ocean Viking in drydock in Naples] (attached) 

United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights: Act to protect migrants in central Mediterranean Sea, Bachelet urges Libya and EU  


Context in the Mediterranean  


Aita Mari of the Spanish collective SalvamentoMaritimoHumanitario is currently heading to the central MediterraneanSea-Eye 4 rescued 415 people in 6 operations in 48 hours between May 15 and May 17. Among the survivors, 150 are minors. On May 19, Pozzallo has been assigned as a Place of Safety by the Italian authorities and the 415 survivors started to disembark todayOn May 19, Sea-Watch 4 ended its quarantine and is now moored at Trapani port facing administrative detention. The same day, Sea-Watch 3 left Sicily after 59 days of blockade with a single voyage permission towards a shipyard in Spain.On May 16, Ocean Viking was granted free pratique by the Port Health Authority of Augusta and is now moored in Siracusa for a shipyard. On May 13, MSF announced that its return to search and rescue activities with a new ship: Geo Barents. The M/V Geo Barents left Norway that day and is currently transiting to the Mediterranean.  

Several shipwrecks are known to have occurred in the past week. On May 13, 150 people were intercepted and returned to Libya. According to two Nigerien survivors, 17 people were missing, probably drowned, said IOM. On May 15, local fishermen rescued 62 people in distress off Khoms but dozens of people are missing according to Alarm Phone. On May 18, another shipwreck occurred off Sfax, Tunisia. At least 50 people went missing according to the 33 survivors, all from Bangladesh. They had departed on May 16 from Zwara, Libya. 

Numerous interceptions by the Libyan coastguard have been reported in the past week. On May 16 only, over 650 persons were returned to Tripoli, and 250 persons were returned to the same port on May 18 according to the UNHCR. Earlier that day, 92 other persons who embarked on Sunday from Zawyia, were also returned to Tripoli.According to Safa Msehli, out of the 8,000 persons intercepted and brought back in 2021, only 4,000 are in official detention centres, "Thousands are missing", she charged. 

On May 17, the Tunisian navy rescued more than 100 people off the island of Djerba, the defence ministry said. Survivors reported that the boat was deflated and 47 of them ended up in the water. 

Between May 17 and 18, an unprecedented surge of arrivals was recorded in the enclave of Ceuta, Spain, with nearly 8,000 persons, arriving via the sea from Morocco. According to the Spanish authorities, 6,000 people have been already sent back to Morocco.  

On May 17, Ireland has agreed to relocate ten people, out of the some 2,100 that landed on Italian shores the previous week becoming at this time the first and only European country to respond to a call for solidarity from Rome and the European Commission.A week earlier, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi reported discussions with France and Germany to try to revive the Malta agreement on relocations. On May 19, following a meeting with SAR NGOs among which SOS MEDITERRANEE Italy, the President of the European Parliament David Sassolicalled for Europe to “prepare a major rescue initiative at sea and a common reception policy, worthy of its history.” 

Charges against Matteo Salvini for the Gregoretti case have been dropped on May 14. According to the judge, there are no elements to open first instance proceedings. The trial in Palermo for the "Open Arms" case remains. On May 20, investigations against Carola Rackete have been dismissed, confirming that saving lives cannot be a crime. On May 19, the former maltese Office of Prime Minister official Neville Gafá has claimed that he was “operating under Libyan jurisdiction” when he coordinated a pushback of migrants at Malta’s request on Easter Sunday last year. Carmelo Grech, the owner of the Libyan-flagged fishing vessel Dar Es Salaam 1 has also revealed that the Maltese government paid for pushbacks multiple times. 


Press Review  


++ FranceTV (French) TV Interview of Morgane in the French emission “C ce soir”. Starts at 38 minutes: "Has the health crisis overshadowed the migration crisis?"   

++ France Inter (French) Audio report from Emmanuelle Chaze with interview of Luisa and Kouassi, one of the 236 survivors. Starts at 19 minutes: Edition of May 19. 

++ France24 (English) TV interview of Emmanuelle Chaze about rotation 12 

++ France Culture (French) Grand Reportage with Emmanuelle Chaze “Migrant rescue: nothing new in the Central Mediterranean”  

++ European Commission (English) Ylva Johansson’s speech to European Parliament Plenary on recent deaths in the Mediterranean and search and rescue at sea  

Info Migrants (French) “Italy and Tunisia strengthen their cooperation against irregular migration” 

Reliefweb (EnglishFrontex: Situation at EU external borders – Detections rise from record lows a year ago 

Il Manifesto (Italian) “Sea-Eye rescues 400 people. Hundreds brought back to Tripoli” 

Le Monde (French) “Migrants' crisis in Ceuta: it is time to get out of a certain naivety in the view of Morocco” 

Malta Today (English) Malta government paid for Libya pushbacks ‘three to four’ times, shipper reveals 


The Sea Watch 3 rescued 45 people in distress in the Libyan SRR this morning. 


Upon disembarkation of 77 survivors from the Vos Triton earlier this week, a UNHCR team gathered testimonies confirming that at least 41 people, from the 120 people onboard the dinghy they were on before being rescued, drowned and are missing. 

According to La Stampa and the first elements of the Agrigento prosecutor’s investigation, quoting Salvatore Vella, assistant prosecutor, "there is no evidence of insurrection on board the Vos Triton, nor of violence or threats by the shipwrecked people against the crew of the ship, in order to induce them to transport them to Italy” [as previously shared by some journalists on social media]. "There was only evident disappointment on the part of the shipwrecked people when they learned the news of their return to Libya”, which was where the ship was going to disembark the survivors at first. 

The Frontex agency said their airplanes spotted 9 boats in distress in the central Mediterranean this past weekend, “alerted and provided regular updates to all national rescue centres in the area”. One of the boats was reportedly rescued by a fishing boat. In their tweets, Frontex did not provide any information on where the people were disembarked afterwards. 


Press review 


Multiple boats in distress were spotted between Friday and Sunday by civil aircraft Moonbird of Sea Watch and Colibri 2 of Pilotes Volontaires (PV). They also witnessed multiple interceptions by the Libyan coastguard. Alarm Phone also tweeted about multiple distress calls they were receiving in the meantime.  


The Aita Mari rescued 102 people from a wooden boat in distress in the Maltese SRR on February 19. Aita Mari then encountered another wooden boat in distress with ~46 people onboard. The rescuers provided lifejackets and food to the people onboard. They did not bring them to the ship because “the Aita Mari can only legally carry 120 passengers” and the ship received no answer when asking Italian and Maltese authorities whether they could go over this capacity, the Basque organisation SMH managing this ship told the website “The civil fleet”. The 102 survivors were eventually assigned Augusta, Sicily, as a Place of Safety on Saturday 20. They disembarked yesterday and today. 


PV reported on a rescue conducted by the Italian coastguard of a boat in distress they had spotted near Italian shores on February 21. Survivors were disembarked in Lampedusa. Mediterraneo cronaca reported that a baby was born on -what seems to be- that dinghy. 


Malta Today said a dinghy that departed from Libya with 55 people onboard reached Malta autonomously on Sunday morning. 


Lampedusa, Pantelleria and Sardinia saw multiple autonomous arrivals of boats departed from Algeria, Libya or Tunisia last week (for more, see Mediterraneo cronaca’s articles online). 


In the night between February 19 and 20, a wooden boat capsized off Lampedusa during the transfer of people onboard to Italian coastguard and Guardia di Finanza boats, the Italian coastguard reported to the media (incl. video). 47 people were rescued. A search operation was launched for at least 5 people missing. 


Two commercial vessels operating on the oil platforms off Libya were involved in rescue operations this weekend.  

  • The Vos Triton rescued 77 people and recovered one dead body. An investigation into what happened afterwards has been launched by the Agrigento prosecutor’s office: Italian media have talked of a potential riot or attempt of riot, possibly because the ship was heading towards Libya rather than north. A medevac was conducted off Lampedusa and the remaining survivors eventually disembarked in Porto Empedocle (La Stampa). 
  • The Asso 30 disembarked in Porto Empedocle yesterday as well. The ship had rescued 232 people on Saturday and also recovered a body on board. About 50 survivors tested positive to COVID-19 upon disembarkation. 


According to IOM Libya, 1,315 people were forcibly returned to Libya and at least 6 bodies retrieved in the period between the 16th and 22nd of February. As part of these interceptions, at least 6 deaths were reported and 5 people missing. Fear of higher numbers of dead and missing is mounting. PV released a video of a critical interception by the LCG they witnessed on February 21 with at least 20 people in the water. 


157 people were rescued by the Tunisian coastguard from two boats over the weekend. Two bodies were retrieved. 


On Friday 19, the Sea Watch 3 left the port of Burriana, Spain, heading for the central Med seven months after being detained by Italian authorities (and later given a single voyage permit with which the ship went to Spain for maintenance). An inspection was carried out by the Spanish coastguard with “a certified confirmation of safety by Spanish authorities”Italian newspaper Il Manifesto is on board the vessel. 


A decision over the Sea Watch 4 case by the Palermo court is expected to be released today. 




Press review 



On ongoing Matteo Salvini’s court case: 


Central Med: 




Central Med 


On December 24, at least 20 people died after a boat capsized off Sfax, Tunisia. According to Il Manifesto, “of the 20 bodies recovered Thursday by the Tunisian Coast Guard, 19 belonged to women, four of whom were pregnant”. 

On December 23, the Open Arms left the port of Barcelona, Spain, heading to the central Mediterranean. According to Marine Traffic, the ship is currently at anchorage in Siracusa port, Italy.

After being released from a five-month detention on December 21, the Ocean Viking arrived in the port of Marseille on December 27 to resupply and embark rescue and medical teams. From Wednesday 30, the teams will undergo a 10-day quarantine in Marseille, during which trainings and briefings will be taking place. 

Autonomous landings in Italy continue: according to Rai News 24 journalist Angela Caponnetto a sailboat from Turkey arrived in the Crotone area on December 23; according to Alarm Phone, three boats arrived in Lampedusa on December 23-24 -at least one boat with 65 people onboard arrived from Libya on December 24 according to the IOM.

On December 26, Alarm Phone tweeted about a boat in distress reported to them by a relative of someone onboard. No new information was reported on this matter since. 

On December 23, the Regional Administrative Court of Palermo ordered the referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union of the appeals filed by Sea-Watch against the administrative detentions of the Sea-Watch 3 and the Sea-Watch 4. The Regional Administrative Tribunal reportedly asked the European Court to rule on the legitimacy of the application of the European Directive 2009/16/EC (on Port State Controls) to any humanitarian ship flying a foreign flag. Sea Watch’s press release

According to the IOM, in the period between December 15 and 21, 126 people were intercepted and forcibly returned to Libya (all on December 17) and 6 dead bodies were retrieved. The IOM reports that one dead body washed up on the Libyan shore on December 24. 




Speaking during a visit to Turkish troops in Tripoli On Sunday 27, Turkish Defence Minister Akar warned that the forces of Khalifa Haftar and their supporters based in eastern Libya would be viewed as “legitimate targets” if they attempted to attack Turkish forces in the region.  

Reuters – Turkey warns Libya’s Haftar and supporters against attacking its forces 


Press review 


SAR/Political context in the Central Mediterranean 


Over 120 people, including 8 women and 28 children were intercepted and forcibly returned to Libya last night by the Libyan coastguard 

These past 3 days, four autonomous arrivals in Lampedusa were reported by Italian media, with a total of over 310 people who fled from Libya and Tunisiaincluding many women and minors. These are the first landings in 15 days, due to bad weather and strong wind, according to Agrigento Notizie.   

On Monday, December 15, the Tunisian navy rescued 93 people on a boat drifting about 42 kilometres northeast of the coastal city of Sfax. Among the survivors were 3 Tunisians and nearly 40 women and four children.  

According to Il Manifesto, Abu Diakite is not the only minor who died in hospital after having seen his health condition deteriorate onboard a quarantine-ship. Abdallah Said, a 17-year-old Somali boy, died  in Catania on 14 September, 22 days before Abou Diakite, after being transported at the Cannizzaro hospital from the Azzura quarantine-ferry shipAn investigation is being held by the Syracuse Public Prosecutor's Office to identify whether the doctors on the GNV Azzurra committed omissions or negligence(find article attached) 

Today, Pilotes Volontaires announced they were resuming their monitoring mission in the Libyan Search and Rescue region with a new aerial asset, the Colibri 2.  


In Libya 


The eighteen Italian fisherman, held captive since September 1st by Haftar forces in a fishing dispute, have been freed today. The Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, and foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, travelled to Benghazi this afternoon for their release.  

Associated Press: Italy: 18 fishermen seized by Libya in fishing dispute freed 

Rai News: Libia. Conte e Di Maio volano a Bengasi : "Liberati i pescatori” [Libya. Conte and Di Maio fly to Benghazi: "Free the fishermen"] 


Press Review:  


Mer et Marine: L’Ocean Viking en travaux à Augusta [The Ocean Viking in shipyard in Augusta]

SO GOOD: En mer et contre tous (Article by Hélène Renaux onboard the Ocean Viking during rotation 9on sale in newsstands this month of December) 

Atmos: Safe Passage - report made onboard the Ocean Viking in Porto Empedocle (with interviews of Alessandro Porro and Dominika Wanczyk) 

European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA): Maritime social partners request the European Commission to follow up on prompt and predictable disembarkation of rescued people in distress at sea (December 14) 

InfomigrantsMer Égée : "Des hommes en uniforme ont percé notre embarcation" [Aegean Sea: "Men in uniform pierced our boat"] 

EFE: La llegada de inmigrantes a Canarias se ralentiza: 1.886 del 1 a 15 diciembre [The arrival of immigrants to the Canary Islands slows down: 1,886 from December 1 to 15] 

Al Jazeera: Video shows smugglers beating Rohingya on trafficking boat 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


According to La Repubblica and Avvenire, Italian NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans has bought a new ship, a 72-meter offshore supply vessel that is currently being refitted in a shipyard in the north of Germany. The ship will reportedly sail under the Italian flag and have space for up to 1000 survivors. Mediterranea neither confirmed nor denied the reports. 

NGO Salvamento Marítimo Humanitario (SMH) has postponed the upcoming mission of their rescue ship, the Aita Mari, due to an injury to a crew member. 

150 organisations, scholars, and humanitarian workers have signed a report asking the Italian authorities to abolish the system of quarantining people offshore on passenger ships and to instead introduce measures that respect the safety, health and rights of all those involved. 


Press Review 


InfoMigrantsMigrants: 18 associations ask EU to abandon hotspot centers 

La RepubblicaIl ministro Toninelli e le due ore di smemoratezza. I decreti sicurezza? "Ricordo il principio" [Minister Toninelli and the two hours of forgetfulness. The security decrees? "I remember the principle"] 

Spiegel Online: Neues Flüchtlingscamp auf Lesbos – Yasers Angst vor der Nacht [New refugee camp on Lesvos – Yaser’s fear of the night] 

Médecins Sans Frontières: Left on the streets – 11,000 refugees face eviction in Greece 

European Council on Foreign Relations: On the rocks: Malta-EU relations in times of crisis 

InfoMigrantsMigration on the Canary Islands: A convenient scapegoat for social problems 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


At the Med Dialogues conference in Rome last Friday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio have criticized the proposed EU Pact on Migration and Asylum as insufficient. Although they saw them as a good starting point, the proposal showed an “imbalance between solidarity and responsibility” according to the Italian representatives. At a meeting of the Committee of Regions, the mayor of Linosa and Lampedusa, Salvatore Martello, said that Lampedusa had been left alone too many times throughout the year, not only by the Italian central state, but also by the European Union. 

ANSAMigranti: sindaco Lampedusa, troppe volte lasciati soli da Ue 

InfoMigrantsEU proposal good starting point but insufficient: Italian PM 

In an Op-ed for Politico, Maltese Minister of Foreign Affairs Evarist Bartolo has urged the EU to step up collaboration with third countries in order to “tackle migration”. Among his proposals are externalising asylum procedures, pressuring departure countries to increase support for repatriation and building capacities for departure and transit countries to manage migration flows, for example by equipping the Libyan Coast Guard. Bartolo also mentioned the need for binding mechanisms ensuring support for border and coastal states by other EU Member States. 

PoliticoTo tackle migration, Europe must step up efforts outside its borders 

The Norwegian NGO Aegean Boat Report has been publicly accused by Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis of supporting human smugglers, an accusation the NGO strongly refuted. Other NGOs working in the context of migration in Greece, among them Mare Liberum, Sea Watch and Alarm Phone, have been faced with criminalization, as Spiegel reported last month. 

EU ObserverNGO rebuts Athens' charge of aiding people smugglers 

On Sunday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that the national security council decided to increase deterrence at the Greek borders. He also announced that Greece will stop accepting asylum requests for a month and turn away everyone trying to cross the border illegally. Frontex has announced the deployment of additional equipment and officers to Greece. Mitsotakis said he had invoked an article of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union urging the EU to adopt “provisional measures” to support a Member State in an emergency situation.  

PoliticoGreece says it will stop accepting asylum requests amid migrant crisis 


Atlantic Route 


The Spanish government is reportedly in talks with EU border enforcement agency Frontex to set up a mission with the aim of “closing the Canary Route” from Western Africa to the Canary Islands. It is as of yet unclear which shape this cooperation will take, but reports mention a possible revitalization of Operation Hera II, a Frontex mission active in 2006 which used aerial and naval assets primarily to stop departures off the coasts of Senegal, Mauritania and Cape Verde. 

El PaísEspaña y Frontex negocian una operación para cerrar la ruta migratoria canaria 

A Senegalese court has found three men guilty of “endagering the lives of others” for encouraging their sons to try to reach Spain. The teenage son of one of the three men died at sea, the other two survived and returned to Senegal. 

APSenegal court sentences fathers for sons’ migration attempts 

El PaísCondenado a prisión en Senegal por subir a su hijo de 14 años a un cayuco en el que falleció 


Press Review 


SOS MEDITERRANEE: [Eyes on the Central Med #8] Fewer departures, high risks – civil rescue organisations continue to mobilise in winter time 

InfoMigrantsMigrants: Inadequate conditions in Lampedusa hotspot, says local association 

ERENAWomen’s Voices Must Be Heard: The Hidden Lives of Female Refugees in Libya 

AP: EU border chief wins support amid migrant pushback reports 

Der Spiegel: Griechenland setzt Geflüchtete nach Ankunft auf Lesbos auf dem Meer aus [Greece abandons refugees at sea after arriving to Lesvos] 

Human Rights Watch: Greece: Lead Poisoning Concerns in New Migrant Camp 

VICEMigrant Camp Built on Army Firing Range Could Be Giving Asylum Seekers Lead Poisoning 

ARTEAsylsuchende auf Lesbos: "Das neue Moria ist schlimmer als das alte" / Réfugiés à Lesbos : "Le nouveau Moria est pire que l'ancien" [Refugees on Lesvos: “The new Moria is worse than the old”] 

InfoMigrantsLeaving Senegal: 'Three of my friends died at sea. I set off the day after they died.' 

The New HumanitarianWhat’s driving the deadly migrant surge from Senegal to the Canary Islands? 

Al Jazeera: Canary Islands: Concerns grow for thousands of child refugees 


SAR/Political Context 


Sea-Eye and MOAS have announced an operative partnership on the SEA EYE 4. Both organisations are planning to start the joint missions in February 2021. MOAS was the first civil rescue organisation that started operating in the Central Mediterranean in 2014 and will support Sea-Eye with rescue personnel, training, strategic expertise and fundraising. 

Sea-EyeSea-Eye und MOAS beginnen mit enger Zusammenarbeit [Sea-Eye and MOAS launch close collaboration] 


AvvenireMoas torna in mare con Sea Eye per nuove missioni di salvataggio [MOAS returns to sea with Sea Eye for new rescue missions] 

Sea Watch has announced the resumption of aerial operations with their plane Moonbird this week. 

The legal charges against Luca Casarini and Pietro Marrone, head of mission and commander on board Mare Jonio of NGO Mediterranea Saving Humas, have been dropped. They were under investigation for “aiding and abetting illegal immigration” and “failure to comply with an order given by a military ship” in March 2019. 

La RepubblicaMigranti, Mare Jonio il gip archivia l'inchiesta 

The Greek Minister of Migration Mitarakis has sent a letter to the European Commission and the UNHCR accusing the Turkish coast guard of delaying the rescue of the dinghy that sank on Wednesday in a shipwreck that claimed the lives of two women. Reportedly, according to testimonies of the survivors, the Turkish coast guard forced the dinghy onward into Greek waters despite rough seas and only alerted the Greek coast guard to their distress once it had reached Greek territorial waters. 

EkathimeriniGreek migration minister sends letter to EU, UNHCR on deadly wreck 

Approximately 245 people reached the Canary Islands between yesterday afternoon and this morning, according to europapress


Press Review 


France 3Migrants : faute de secours en mer, des enfants se noient dans l’indifférence quasi-générale [Without sea rescue, children are drowning in almost universal indifference] 

InfoMigrantsEU set to improve cooperation with Morocco regarding migration 

BBCLa crise migratoire : dix jours de péril dans les eaux de l'atlantique pour rejoindre l'Espagne [Migration crisis: 10 days of danger on the Atlantic to reach Spain] 

La 7Youssuf, morire a sei mesi nel Mediterraneo [Youssuf, dying at six months in the Mediterranean Sea] 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean  


According to the IOM, a young woman lost her life in a shipwreck off Lesvos yesterday. Another woman is missing while 32 people were rescued. 

InfoMigrantsGrèce : une morte et une disparue après un naufrage au large de Lesbos [Greece: one woman dead and one missing after a shipwreck off Lesvos] 

NGO Salvamento Maritimo Humaniario (SMH) has announced that their vessel Aita Mari should reach the Central Mediterranean to resume their lifesaving operations in approximately three weeks' time after stopovers in Portugal and Málaga, Spain. 

90 people reached Lampedusa on three boats on Tuesday and Wednesday. A first boat carrying 14 Tunisians was escorted to port by the Harbour Master’s Office, the Guardia di Finanza rescued a boat carrying 12 people and 64 persons from Ivory Coast, Guinera and Tunisia reached the port autonomously. The hotspot on Lampedusa now hosts approximately 100 people. 

La StampaIl maltempo non ferma gli sbarchi a Lampedusa: arrivati 90 migranti in poche ore [The bad weather does not stop the landings in Lampedusa, 90 migrants arrive within a few hours] 

Frontex boss Fabrice Leggeri made a false claim during a hearing in the European Parliament on Tuesday. Leggeri falsely denied that a Frontex airplane was operative on a particular night in April. A Frontex spokesperson has since confirmed that the plane did fly that night, saying Leggeri “misspoke”. A “Management Board Working Group on Fundamental Rights and Legal and Operational Aspects of Operations” will be set up by the Frontex Management Board to look into allegations of the agency’s involvement in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean Sea. Some MEPs are seeking a formal parliamentary inquiry into the allegations. 

Frontex is suing transparency activists Frontex for reportedly almost 24,000€ in legal fees. The activists and journalist had pursued legal action at the General Court of the European Union to force Frontex to disclose information on their operations, but lost the case. 

SpiegelFrontex-Chef Leggeri sagte dem EU-Parlament die Unwahrheit [Frontex boss Leggeri told the EU Parliament a falsehood] 

Statewatch.comFrontex: thumbs-up for the "Management Board Working Group on Fundamental Rights and Legal and Operational Aspects of Operations" 

EU Observer: MEPs seek parliament inquiry into Frontex 

Fragdenstaat.deFrontex zieht gegen uns vor Gericht [Frontex goes to court against us] 


Atlantic Route 


A total of 8.157 people reached the Canary Islands during the month of November, EFE reports. It is the highest number of arrivals ever recorded to the Canary Islands within one month. 




At an online meeting of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum, UN acting envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams said at least 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries are in Libya, “a shocking violation of Libyan sovereignty” causing a “serious crisis”. Weapons also reportedly continue to be "pour into” the country in violation of the arms embargo. 

UN News: Foreign fighters a ‘serious crisis’ in Libya, UN mission chief tells high stakes political forum 


Press Review


InfoMigrantsAudio report: From dreams to nightmares -- the experience of African migrants 

Artnet News: Christoph Büchel’s Migrant Ship Sparked Outrage at the 2019 Venice Biennale. Now, the Town He Borrowed It From Wants It Back 

InfoMigrants120 refugees resettled from Africa to France by IOM 

 EuropapressSenegal juzga a un padre por la muerte de su hijo tras embarcarlo en una patera hacia España [Senegal judges a father for the death of his son after boarding a boat to Spain] 

La VanguardiaNouakchott, capital de tránsito hacia Canarias [Nouakchott, capital of transit to the Canaries] 


SAR/Political Context 


The Open Arms has left the port of Trapani after a 14-day quarantine on Sunday. The ship has sailed to Barcelona for a port call and will resume operations in the Central Mediterranean as soon as possible. 

InfoMigrantsResuce ship Open Arms to head back to Mediterranean 

 Between November 24 and 30, the bodies of 14 people washed up on Libyan shores, the IOM reports. No interceptions and forced returns were reported during this period. 

150 people who tested negative for COVID-19 were disembarked from quarantine ship GNV Azzurra to Messina yesterday. They will be housed at different reception centres across Sicily, Gazzetta del Sud reports. 

Frontex Chief Fabrice Leggeri was questioned in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament on the involvement of the European border agency in illegal push-backs today. Leggeri once again denied the involvement of vessels under Frontex-command in such human rights violations. The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament has called for the resignation of the Frontex Director. MEP Erik Markquardt has called on the European Parliament to launch an inquiry commission as the oversight mechanisms internal to Frontex don’t seem to function. 

Over the weekend, Spiegel reported on the involvement of German federal police forces dispatched for Frontex in push-backs in the Aegean Sea. A German patrol vessel blocked a rubber boat until the Greek Coast Guard arrived on the scene, eventually returning the boat to Turkish territorial waters. The German Ministry of the Interior has denied any wrongdoing, stating that a Frontex review of the incident concluded it did not constitute a push-back but merely “border protection measures”. 

SpiegelDeutsche Bundespolizisten in illegalen Pushback verwickelt [German Federal Police involved in illegal pushback] 

 A Maltese court has ordered the release of four people who were detained for 166 days after being rescued at sea on June 7. The detainees had not been provided any legal justification for their detention, which reportedly came simply because open centres on the island had run out of space. The court condemned this policy by the authorities as “abusive and farcical”. 

Times of MaltaMigrants released after 166 days of illegal detention 

The makeshift camp at Arguíneguin pier on Gran Canaria was dismantled over the weekend after more than three months. The persons held at the pier have been transferred to hotels and other structures, mostly at former military facilities on Gran Canaria and other islands. 

APSpain dismantles migrants’ ‘dock of shame’ in Canary Islands 

121 people were rescued in the English Channel by French rescuers and authorities yesterday. Over the weekend, 64 people who attempted the crossing from the French coast to England were rescued by French authorities. 

Le FigaroNombreuses tentatives de traversées de la Manche, 121 migrants secourus [Numerous attempted crossings of the English Channel, 121 migrants rescued] 




The Libyan House of Representatives will convene for the first time in two years in the Libyan city of Ghadames. After peace talks in Tangier, Morocco, 123 of the parliament’s 180 members, some of them from rivalling factions, have vowed to hold parliamentary elections as soon as possible and that members of the House of Representatives will meet upon return to Libya. 

Daily Sabah: Libyan deputies pledge to end divisions, convene elected parliament soon 


Press Review 


Sea Watch: Airborne Factsheet Merchant Vessels 2020 

InfoMigrantsLampedusa: Amassed migrant boats damage port, says mayor 

Alarm Phone197 People Pushed Back 200 Nautical Miles from Crete to Turkey 

 El PaísTras la pista de las mafias que organizan las pateras a Canarias [On the trail of the mafias that organise the pateras to the Canary Islands] 

Frankfurter RundschauBeobachtung nicht erwünscht [Observation not appreciated] 

LibérationL’Europe, mortelle forteresse [Europe, deadly fortress] 

France 2Migrants : entre le Sénégal et les îles Canaries, une route de l'immigration dangereuse [A dangerous migration route between Senegal and the Canary Islands] 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


On Wednesday, the Moroccan Navy found a boat adrift in the Mediterranean, north of the city of Nador. On board were approximately 50 people of sub-Saharan origin, four of whom, two women and two children, were reportedly deceased. 

El Faro de CeutaLa Marina marroquí halla una patera con cuatro cadáveres: mujeres y bebés [The Moroccan Navy finds a boat with four bodies: women and babies] 

A survivor of the critical rescue conducted by Open Arms earlier this month was arrested in Trapani for driving the boat that collapsed, leading to the death of six people. The 21-year-old Chadian was arrested on charges of aiding and abetting illegal migration and "naufragio" (shipwreck), QdS reports. 

A new report published by SPIEGEL last night proves that contrary to his public statements, Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri has been aware of at least one pushback by the Hellenic Coast Guard. A “Serious Incident Report” was filed by a Frontex unit that observed and documented a push-back in April, during which the Greek Coast Guard first took survivors on board of their patrol vessel, but then towed them back to Turkish waters on a rubber boat with no engine. Leggeri mentioned the incident in a letter to the Greek government in May. Frontex has admitted that it did not initially classify the incident as a violation of fundamental rights, the internal Fundamental Rights Officer was not alerted until September. 

SPIEGELWie Frontex-Chef Leggeri die Öffentlichkeit getäuscht hat [How Frontex-boss Leggeri deceived the public] 

No autonomous landings have been reported in Lampedusa for some days now, reportedly in particular due to bad weather conditions. The hotspot in Lampedusa, which at times hosted up to 1400 people, only holds about forty now. 186 people boarded the quarantine ship Adriatico yesterday, all of them tested negative for COVID-19. 


Atlantic Route 


348 people reached the island of Gran Canaria yesterday. Almost 1000 people spent the night in the makeshift camp at Arguineguín pier, el Diario reports. 

The Spanish ombudsman (“Defensor del Pueblo”) has sent a letter to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior demanding the immediate closure of the makeshift camp at Arguineguín pier on Gran Canaria. The letter serves as a  reminder of legal duties, one of the highest administrative actions the ombudsman can take. 

Cadena SEREl Defensor del Pueblo pide a Interior el cierre inmediato del campamento de Arguineguín [Ombudsman calls on Interior to close Arguineguín camp immediately]  




The US government has unilaterally blacklisted the Kaniyat militia, an armed group affiliated with Khalifa Haftar, for war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to the Turkish media TRT World, this is seen by international law experts as a sign that Haftar will eventually be persecuted for his crimes in Libya. 

ReutersU.S. blacklists Libyan militia, leader after Russia stops U.N. sanctions 


Press Review 


Il Sole 24 Ore: Migranti, sbarchi dalla Tunisia: +400%. Lamorgese: «Risposta unitaria dall’Ue» [Migrants, landings from Tunisia: +400%. Lamorgese: " A united response from the EU".] 

The New York TimesE.U. Border Agency Accused of Covering Up Migrant Pushback in Greece 

Blog of the European Journal of International LawWhy it is so Hard to Hold Frontex Accountable: On Blame-Shifting and an Outdated Remedies System 

The EconomistWest Africans are dying trying to reach the Canary Islands 

Operation EUNAVFOR MED Irini: Shared Awareness and De-confliction in the Mediterranean (SHADE MED) 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


More details have emerged about the so-called “Non-Paper” circulated by Italy, Malta, Spain and Greece in reaction to the EU Commission’s proposal for a “Pact on Migration and Asylum”. As seen in the Context Update yesterday, the Mediterranean coastal States argue that while their responsibilities are clearly defined, the proposed solidarity mechanisms are too vague. Instead, the signatories of the paper demand mandatory quotas for relocation among EU Member States of people who could qualify for refugee status are necessary. The full text of the response has been published on Twitter

Associated Press: EU nations on Med coast renew push for migrant quotas 
EU Observer: EU 'front-line' states want clearer migration rules 

El PaísEspaña, Italia, Grecia y Malta se unen para rechazar el pacto migratorio de la UE [Spain, Italy, Greece and Malta join forces to reject the EU migration pact] 


Atlantic Route 


The death toll of the shipwreck off Lanzarote on Tuesday night has risen to nine, InfoMigrants reports. 

According to EFE, the Spanish Coast Guard has rescued around 180 people from 6 boats off Gran Canaria during the night. 

During a press conference, the Head of the Spanish Navy was asked by a politician of the Spanish far-right whether a sea blockade would be possible to prevent arrivals to the Canary Islands. The Admiral responded that any Spanish warship in the proximity of a boat in distress would fulfill its moral and legal obligation to provide assistance by rescuing. 

El Diario: La contundente respuesta del jefe de la Armada española a la petición de Vox de un bloqueo naval en Canarias [The overwhelming response of the head of the Spanish Navy to Vox's request for a naval blockade of the Canary Islands] 


Press Review 


Alarm Phone: November Shipwrecks - Hundreds of Visible and Invisible Deaths in the Central Med 

Swissinfo: Analysis: Libya's rival forces have stopped shooting, but they're not pulling back 

El País: Rescate a la luz de los móviles en Lanzarote [Search with mobile phone spotlights in Lanzarote] 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


The Guardia di Finanza intercepted a sailing vessel carrying 52 people, mostly of Iranian and Iraqi nationality, among them women and children, off Crotone, South of Italy, early this morning. Two men of Russian nationality were arrested on suspicion of smuggling. The boat presumably departed from Antalya. 

CrotoneNewsGuardia di Finanza intercetta imbarcazione di migranti a Capocolonna: 52 iraniani e iracheni tra cui donne e bambini [Guardia di Finanza intercepts migrants' boat in Capocolonna: 52 Iranians and Iraqis including women and children] 

In article published today, Der Spiegel further details the policy of EU border enforcement agency Frontex to silence concerns raised within its ranks. Swedish and Danish teams dispatched on Frontex missions were reportedly discouraged from filing formal “Serious Incident Reports”, complicating the documentation of human rights violations witnessed by Frontex units. The article also puts into question internal “oversight” mechanisms such as the agency’s ‘Fundamental Rights Officer’ for their lack of independence. 

Italy, Malta, Spain and Greece have sent comments on the proposed EU Pact on Migration and Asylum to the other member states, criticising that it is “too detailed and rigid in terms of the responsibility of the countries of first entry”, while “the solidarity mechanism remains complex and vague”. 

Il Foglio: Italia e i paesi del Mediterraneo bocciano il Patto Ue sui migranti [Italy and the Mediterranean countries reject the EU Pact on migrants] 


___ Atlantic Route 


At least eight people drowned when a dinghy carrying 35 to 37 people sank off Lanzarote, Canary Islands, last night. Their boat reportedly sank after hitting the breakwater of a port of the island in bad weather. 

EuropapressEl hallazgo de un nuevo cuerpo eleva a ocho los migrantes muertos tras el vuelco de la patera de Órzola [The discovery of a new body brings the number of migrants who died following the capsizing of the boat off Órzola to eight] 
EFECuatro nuevos cadáveres elevan a 8 las víctimas del naufragio de Lanzarote [Four new bodies bring the number of victims of the Lanzarote shipwreck to eight] 

InfoMigrants: Eight dead, search continues for missing after boat capsizes off Canary Islands 

The Spanish Coast Guard and Guardia Civil reportedly rescued at least 300 people on 11 boats off the Canary Islands last night. One death has been confirmed. Most of the survivors have been transferred to Gran Canaria, six have reportedly been referred to hospitals. 


Press Review 


SOS MEDITERRANEE[Eyes on the Central Med #7] Four shipwrecks within 72 hours while most civil rescue assets remain blocked 

Mer et MarineL'Ocean Viking va rejoindre un chantier naval [The Ocean Viking is going into shipyard] 

DomaniLe Ong vanno difese, sono le uniche che rispondono al grido: «Uomo in mare» [NGOs must be defended, they are the only ones responding to the call: “Man overboard”] 

Sueddeutsche ZeitungWie Seenotretter einem Flüchtlingspaar seine Eheringe zurückbrachten [How sea rescuers returned a refugee couple’s wedding rings] 

InfoMigrantsHRW calls on Italy to strengthen migrant legal protections 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  


After being blocked for over 2 months, Sea Watch’s aircraft Moonbird went back to the central Mediterranean today. 

223 people onboard the Italian quarantine-ship Azzurra were disembarked in Pozzallo yesterday after completing their quarantine period, the local media Giornale di Sicilia reported.  

According to the Middle East Eye Monitor, yesterday Turkey “summoned the envoys of the European Union, Germany and Italy to protest against German attempt to search a Libya-bound, Turkish-flagged commercial ship”. This declaration followed the interrupted search conducted by the German vessel “Hamburg, from operation IRINI, onboard a Turkish cargo vessel suspected of transporting weapons to Libya. (see yesterday’s CU) 

Atlantic Route 

Salvamento Marítimo and the Civil Guard rescued a total of 180 people onboard seven boats in the south of Gran Canaria this morning. They have been disembarked at the Arguineguín dock. Yesterday, 203 people were reported to have arrived on the island and Fuerteventura. As reported by El Diario, twenty-one had arrived autonomously and at least 149 were rescued in six operations. 

Publico: Rescatan de madrugada al sur de Gran Canaria a 180 migrantes de siete pateras [They rescue 180 migrants from seven boats in the south of Gran Canaria] 


In Libya  

A consultative session of Libya's House of Representatives (HoRbegan today in TangiersMorocco. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) expressed its “hope that the HoR will work on the implementation of the roadmap agreed upon by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum towards the holding of national elections on December 24, 2021 


Press Review 

Spotify Podcast: Pourquoi les sauveteurs de SOS Méditerranée ne peuvent-ils plus intervenir en mer ? [Why are SOS MEDITERRANAEE rescuers no longer able to operate at sea?] (Interview with Sophie Beau) 

Mediapart«Les Grecs nous ont fait monter sur des radeaux gonflablespuis ils nous ont repoussés» ["The Greeks put us on inflatable rafts and then they pushed us back."] (Article attached) 

RagusaOggiPorto Empedocle: Nave quarantena attracca per fare rifornimento fuggono una ventina di migranti [Porto EmpedocleQuarantine ship docks to refuel, about 20 migrants flee] 

El Pais: Los anillos perdidos que rescató el ‘Open Arms’ [The lost rings rescued by the 'Open Arms'] 
Courrier International: Les Canaries espagnoles deviennent-elles des “îles-prisons” pour les migrants ? [Are the Spanish Canaries becoming "prison islands" for migrants?] 

El DiarioEl Gobierno entregará 10 millones de euros a Canarias para la atención de 2.000 menores migrantes [The Government will deliver 10 million euros to the Canary Islands for the care of 2,000 migrant minors] 

The Guardian: Rescuers recover migrants' wedding rings lost at sea 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  

___ Central Med 


According to IOM Libya’s latest Maritime update, between the 17 and 23 November, 7 bodies washed up on Libyan shores. The international organisation did not witness any forced returns during that period 

Yesterday, Turkey interrupted the German naval frigate "Hamburg" of Operation IRINI as they were searching a Turkish cargo ship suspected of transporting weapons to Libya. German forces had boarded the cargo ship and started the search when Ankara accused the EUNAVFOR MED team of violating international law by not waiting for permission from Turkey. Eventually, the German forces interrupted the search, “during which no evidence of illicit material was found on board” according to a statement by Operation IRINI, and the cargo ship resumed its course towards Misrata, Libya.  

Der Spiegel: Türkei verhindert Bundeswehrinspektion auf verdächtigem Frachter [Turkey prevents Bundeswehr inspection on suspicious freighter] 

AFP: Un navire turc en route vers la Libye arraisonné par une frégate allemande [Turkish ship en route to Libya boarded by German frigate] 

Reuters: Turkey cries foul at German attempt to police Libya blockade 


___ Eastern Med  


A speedboat, reportedly smuggling migrants from Turkey, partially sank before reaching land near the north-western coast of Rhodes, Greece, this morning, Associated Press reported. Thirteen people were found safe on the nearby shore, while the body of one man was recovered. The survivors told authorities that 14 people had been onboard.  


Atlantic Route 


30 people were rescued from a dinghy by Salvamento Maritimo this morning and disembarked at the Arguineguín dock. Among them, 8 people, including five minors, two in serious condition, were transferred to health centres.  



One person was wounded in a landmine explosion in Ain Zara, south of Tripoli, on Saturday, the Libya Observer reported. 


Press Review  

InfomigrantsEuropean Commission: Italy, Greece and Spain need more help on migration 

Politico: Sicilian fishermen’s capture escalates ‘red prawn war’ between Italy and Libya 

EFE: La juez no ve delito en las condiciones de Arguineguín, aunque sean "deplorables" [The judge does not see a crime in the conditions of Arguineguínalthough they are "deplorable"] 

El Pais: Dakhla: the departure point for migrants to Spain’s Canary Islands 

 InfomigrantsCanaries : l'Espagne renforce sa coopération avec le Maroc et le Sénégal [Spain’s foreign minister visits Senegal to discuss migration] 

InfomigrantsSénégal : la jeunesse en colère face aux drames de l'émigration [Senegalyouth angry at the dramas of emigration] 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


177 people of Afghan, Iraqi and Iranian nationality were reportedly rescued by the Guardia di Finanza off Roccella Jonica, in the Calabria region of Italy, last night. According to some local media, 93 of them tested positive for COVID-19. 

Tgcom24Nuovo sbarco nel Reggino: oltre 100 migranti, ci sono anche donne e bambini 

LametinoNuovo sbarco di migranti nel Reggino, 93 positivi al Covid 

According to the Turkish Ministry of Defense, a Turkish frigate was involved in the interception of a boat in distress off Libya last week. 


Atlantic Route 


In a press release published today, the IOM has expressed its concern about the increase in deaths recorded along the Atlantic Route between Western Africa and the Canary Islands. The organisation once more emphasised that the current estimate of 511 lives lost this year represents a minimum and that the actual death toll is likely to be much higher. 

IOM2020 Death Toll in West Africa Sea Route Tops 500 Amid Uptick in Departures 

The government of the Canary Islands has called upon EU Member States to take in people who have reached the islands by boat. The Spanish government is reported to focus mainly on expulsions. 

El Diario: El Gobierno canario demanda que los países miembros de la UE asuman la acogida de personas migrantes 

After weeks of protests by overworked rescuers, the Spanish Minister of Transport has announced that material and human resources would be provided to the Spanish Coast Guard on the Canary Islands. 

El DiarioÁbalos anuncia el refuerzo de los medios materiales y humanos de Salvamento Marítimo en Canarias 



On the first evacuation flight in almost a year, the UNHCR evacuated 79 vulnerable asylum-seekers from Libya to Rwanda last night. 


Press Review 


London School of Economics European Politics and Policy BlogCriminalising search and rescue activities can only lead to more deaths in the Mediterranean 

EU ObserverEU migration system relies on despots, Schäuble says 

InfoMigrantsItaly's plan to abolish quota system sparks political clash 

MSF“What Europe is experiencing today, is not a humanitarian crisis, but a crisis of humanity.” (Speech delivered by MSF International President Dr Christos Christou to the High-level Interparliamentary Conference on Migration and Asylum in Europe yesterday) 



ReutersA group of villagers, a migrant boat and a deadly end in Senegal 

APSpain in diplomatic push over migrant flow to Canary Islands 

Amnesty International: Malta: Amnesty International launches flagship campaign highlighting three youths facing injustice in Malta 

VICEThree Young Men Face Life in Prison for Preventing the Return of Refugees to Libya 

InfoMigrantsCeuta et Melilla : la justice espagnole valide les refoulements automatiques de migrants illégaux [Ceuta and Melilla: Spanish justice approves automatic expulsions of illegal migrants] 



Spiegel OnlineVerfahren gegen Hilfsorganisationen in Griechenland: »Man will uns ruhigstellen« [Legal proceedings against aid organisations in Greece: “They want to silence us”] 

Alarm PhoneOngoing Violent Pushbacks both at Sea and on Land [Report on the Aegean] 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


The European Parliament and German Bundestag, in cooperation with the Portuguese and Slovene parliaments and the European Commission, organised a high-level conference on an EU migration and asylum system today. The issue of sea rescue was raised by political stakeholders and civil society representatives. See the programme here. You can watch the plenary sessions and roundtable debates here

EP Press ReleaseMigration and asylum: time to find balance between solidarity and responsibility 

EuractivEn matière d’asile, « il n’existe aucune solution qui satisfasse tout le monde » prévient Ursula von der Leyen [As regards asylum, "there is no solution that satisfies everyone," warns Ursula von der Leyen] 

AdnKronosMigranti, Sassoli: "Ue credibile nel mondo solo se gestisce flussi" [Migrants, Sassoli: “The EU is credible in the world only if it manages the [migration] flows”] 


___ Central Med 


With the opening of an additional building at the hotspot on Lampedusa, the island’s first reception facility now has room to house 328 people, 136 more than previously. 

InfoMigrantsItaly: Lampedusa hotspot will have room for 136 additional migrants 

___ Atlantic route 


A new report by the IOM’s Missing Migrants and Displacement Tracking Matrix projects highlights the resumption of migration routes from coasts of Western Africa to the Canary Islands. According to the IOM, 16,760 people have reached the Canary Islands between January 1 and November 15, 2020, an increase of 1,019 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. 41 shipwrecks and 511 deceased or missing persons were recorded during this time. However, the report also details the challenges to data collection on migration routes in general and the Canary Route in particular. The actual number of shipwrecks and missing persons that are not reported and unaccounted for may be higher. 

IOMWest And Central Africa — Irregular Migration Routes To Europe (January — November 2020) 

A representative of the Canary Islands has insisted that the archipelago is “not a cage” and “shall not become another Lesvos or Lampedusa”. The remarks came after the eviction of 200 people formerly held at the overcrowded Arguineguín pier on Gran Canaria on Tuesday, for whom reception places were not yet available, fault of a lack of coordination between authorities. Yesterday, a reception centre at a vacant military facility on Gran Canaria was opened. 

El DiarioUn error policial facilitó el desalojo de los 200 migrantes del muelle de Arguineguín [A police error facilitated the eviction of 200 migrants from the Arguineguin dock] 

EuropapressOramas dice que Canarias "no es una jaula" y avisa: "No se puede convertir en una Lampedusa o un Lesbos" [Oramas says that the Canaries "are not a cage" and warns: "You cannot turn them into a Lampedusa or a Lesbos”] 


___ Eastern Med 


The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published a report calling on the Greek government to reform its immigration detention system and stop pushbacks. The CPT emphasizes the human rights obligations and the duty of care of the Greek authorities vis-à-vis migrants and asylum seekers. 

Council of Europe: Council of Europe’s anti-torture Committee calls on Greece to reform its immigration detention system and stop pushbacks 




According to the Libyan Army, mercenary groups, including Russian mercenaries and Sudanese Janjaweed, continue to dig trenches in Sirte, which is currently controlled by Haftar’s forces. According to an army spokesperson, the provisions of the ceasefire agreement are not properly implemented, especially in and around Sirte. 

Daily SabahForeign mercenaries continue to dig trenches in Libya's Sirte despite cease-fire 


Press Review 


Open MigrationDue anni dopo i Decreti Salvini, il sistema di accoglienza cade a pezzi [Two years after the Salvini Decrees, the reception system is falling apart] 

The New York TimesAsylum Seeker Who Lost His Son on Trek to Greece Is Charged in His Death 

Human Rights WatchPushbacks in Greek Waters Put Lives at Risk 

EU ObserverGreece promises new asylum reception centres by 2021 

 Libya ReviewWhat is Turkey doing in Libya? And why? 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean 


___ Central Med 


Sixteen people, including two women, landed in the village of Neranoprovince of Naples, Italy, onboard two boats. It is the first time that such an arrival by the sea occurs in the Amalfi Coast, according to local media 

___ Atlantic route 


large canoe who had been drifting for several days at sea ran aground on Sunday on a Cape Verde island. Onboard were 64 survivors, the French press agency AFP reported, without being able to indicate whether and how many people are missing. Most of the survivors were suffering from exhaustion. One person died several hours after being taken to a local hospital. An investigation is underway to determine whether the boat was carrying other people and what happened on board. 

Infomigrants: More than 380 migrants arrive in Cape Verde and Canary Islands 

Yesterday, Spanish rescue services rescued more than 320 people onboard ten different boats off the Canary Islands. All were taken to the Arguineguín dock, Associated Press reported 

___ Eastern Med 


Following a freedom of information request, the EUobserver obtained a chain email from Frontex, that "shows that the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) received orders to push migrants back into Turkish territorial waters according to the media outlet. 


In Libya 

The Minister of Interior of the Libyan UN-Backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Fathi Bashagha, arrived in Paris, France today, on an official visit. According to Libyan Express, Bashagha is set to meet with French heads of security and policy, as well as a group of security companies “to strengthen joint security cooperation between Libya and France, specifically Counter-Terrorism, organized crime and training in the field of international security. 

 Following yesterday’s meeting between the Operation Commander of Operation IRINI, Fabio Agostini and the Libyan Defense Minister, Salah Al Namoush, on “EU contributions on security” (see yesterday’s Context Update) the Libyan news agency reported today that “Al Namroush said that the EU support for Libya does not meet the challenges faced by the Libyan Navy”, adding that “unless Irini was a comprehensive operation that involves all ground, air and marine borders nothing would be changed. 


Press review:  

Ara: "Children's shrouds shouldn't exist", by Marc Reig, Open Arms Chief of Mission 

EkathimeriniMigrants stopped on Italy-bound yacht 

Refugee Rights Europe: Pushbacks and Rights Violations at Europe’s Borders (SOS MEDITERRANEE mentioned) 

Infomigrants: Italy: Police complain of violence, COVID risk at Sardinia migrant center 

Lamarea: «Con la nueva patera que ha llegado no tenemos espacio físico en el muelle» ["With the new boat that has arrived we have no physical space on the dock"] 

 MediapartEn Libye, des Mirage entretenus par des sociétés françaises au cœur de soupçons de crimes de guerre [In Libya, Mirage aircraft maintained by French companies at the heart of suspicions of war crimes] (Article attached) 

Infomigrants: Youssef, Guinéen : "Ils nous ont dit qu’on allait en Europe alors qu’ils nous ramenaient à Tripoli" 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean 


___ Central Med 


Last week, the prosecutor's office in Agrigento, Sicilyopened an investigation “against unknown individuals” following the shipwreck that claimed six lives, including the 6-month baby boy Joseph, during the Open Arms critical rescue last Wednesday. The investigation file lists potential crimes of “shipwreck and aiding and abetting clandestine immigration” according to the Italian press agency ANSA. This investigation reportedly aims to ascertain whether there have been any delays” in the rescue and - if so if someone [would] be responsible for the tragic death of little Joseph or not” explains Alessandra Ziniti in La Repubblica (the article provides a timeline of events as well). 

InfomigrantsProbe into shipwreck and death of 6-month-old infant Warning: a mistake in the original agency dispatch seems not to have been corrected30 miles north of the Libyan coast (given position of the rescue) would be in international waters, not territorial waters. 

 Between the 10 and 16 November, 409 people were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, IOM Libya reported in its latest Maritime update. 

Yesterday, the Tunisian navy rescued 24 people from Sub-Saharan origins, including seven women, onboard a drifting boat taking water off the coast of Kerkennah Islands.  

Infomigrants: Une vingtaine de migrants interceptés en mer par l'armée tunisienne [Around twenty migrants intercepted at sea by the Tunisian army] 

According to Frontex, between January and October 2020, the total number of crossings in the Central Mediterranean more than doubled compared to last year, reaching over 28 400.  

Frontex: Situation at EU external borders – Arrivals down in Western and Eastern Mediterranean 

 In its latest Italy weekly snapshot, UNHCR reported that between 8 and 15 November, 1,545 people arrived in Italy by sea. Since the beginning of this month up to the 15th, 4,902 people arrived in Italy, representing an increase of 1573% compared to the same period last year.  

___ Western Med 

From January 1st to November 15, the Canary Islands received 16,760 people rescued from dinghies or fragile wooden boatseleven times more than throughout the same period in 2019, the Spanish press agency EFE reported.   

Yesterday evening, 5 boats were rescued by Salvamento Marítimo with a total of 120 people onboard. They were expected to be disembarked in the port of Arguineguín. Yesterday only, over 230 people arrived by the sea in the Canaries Islands, according to El Diario 


In Libya 

Operation Commander of UNAVFOR MED Operation IRINI, Fabio Agostini, met with the Libyan Defence Minister on “EU contributions on security”, including discussions on arms embargo and training. The EU ambassador head of delegation to Libya, Jose Sabadellreported a “significant potential […] to increase cooperation on security”. 


Press review:  


La Repubblica: L'arcivescovo Lorefice: "Con la morte di Joseph a Lampedusa abbiamo ucciso il nostro futuro" [Archbishop Lorefice: "With the death of Joseph in Lampedusa we killed our future"] 

Il Riformista: Salvare i naufragi è un dovere, opporsi è illegale [Saving castaways is a duty, opposing is illegal] 

Infomigrants: Italy: Migrants including teens found in refrigerated truck 

Europapress: Morales recuerda a Marlaska que los migrantes pasan en Arguineguín (Gran Canaria) "más de una semana" y "hacinados" [Morales reminds Marlaska that the migrants spend "more than a week" and "crowded" in Arguineguín (Gran Canaria)] 
The Guardian: Father faces criminal charge over son’s death in migrant boat tragedy 

 The Guardian: Greece faces legal action over alleged expulsion of Syrian to Turkey 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean 


___ Central Med 


On Saturday, two rubber boats were intercepted with 199 persons onboard and returned to Libya, among which 28 women & 31 children whose boat deflated. Many people fell in the water, UNHCR reported. The following night, 77 other persons were intercepted and returned to Tripoli by the Libyan Coast Guard according to the same organisation.  

A shipwreck of a boat with 31 people on board occurred in the night between Saturday and Sunday, about 4 miles away from Lampedusa. All were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard and the Guardia di FinanzaAccording to Mediterraneo Cronaca, the boat had been spotted in the afternoon in the Maltese SRR, South of Lampedusa, by a helicopter of the Guardia di Finanza.    

Euronews: VIDEO: Footage of the rescue 

Rai News: Migrants: boat capsizes near Lampedusa, except for the 31 people on board 

 Shortly before this shipwreck, a boat with 186 people had been escorted to the port of Lampedusa by the Guardia di FinanzaAnother small boat, with 12 Tunisians on boardwas also rescued off the island. All survivors were taken to the hotspot in the Imbriacola district.  

ADN kronosMigrants, the wave of landings in Lampedusa continues 

The Open Arms transferred 255 survivors on Italian coastguard vessels on Sunday. Unaccompanied minors and adults were separated. The 73 unaccompanied minors were transferred onto the Diciotti ship of the Italian coastguard and disembarked in PozzalloSicily, along with 23 other unaccompanied minors who were rescued by the Asso 30, La Repubblica reported. The adults were transferred by the Italian coastguard onto the quarantine-ship SNV Adriatica. According to Riccardo Gatti, head of mission of Open Arms, the crew and SAR team members of Open Arms were put under quarantine despite being tested negative to COVID-19.  

Deutsche WelleOpen Arms rescue ship brings 255 migrants to Italy 

Contrary to previous announcements, the backpack retrieved from the water by the Open Arms team on November 9 belonged to survivors of a shipwreck off the coast of Lampedusa. They were identified by MSF Italy teams, who are providing the survivors of this deadly shipwreck with psychological first aid 

Sea-Eye presented their new ship, the Sea-Eye 4, on Sunday. The former offshore supply ship, largely financed by the United4Rescue allianceis currently in Northern Germany and is being converted into a rescue ship.  

EKD: Bündnis United4Rescue finanziert mit der Sea-Eye-4 ein weiteres Rettungsschiff [The United4Rescue alliance is financing another rescue ship, the Sea-Eye-4] 

InfomigrantsGermany's Sea-Eye adds fourth migrant rescue ship to fleet 


___ Western Med 


With 8,102 people reaching the Canaries Islands between October 15 and November 15, the number of people arriving on the archipelago by sea doubled in one month compared to all of 2020 (over 16,000 people arrived since January)This weekend, between Saturday afternoon and Sunday mid-day onlySalvamento Marítimo rescued 14 boats with a total of 510 people onboard according to Europapress. All have been taken to Gran Canaria. 

El Periodico de Canarias: Salvamento traslada a Gran Canaria a 341 migrantes que viajaban en 9 pateras [Salvamento transfers 341 migrants traveling in 9 boats to Gran Canaria] 

Europapress: They rescue 49 people, four babies and an old man, from two boats in the Strait and 16 migrants arrive in Almería 


In Libya 


Testimonies of prisoners of the Abu Issa detention center in Tripoli, and of some of their loved ones, collected by Giulia Tranchina (Italian lawyer specialised in Human rights) and confirmed by UNSMIL, revealed that about forty Eritreans were captured last July and tortureto extort ransoms of 1,200 dinars from relatives since thenBefore raping the womenreports Avvenirethe torturers called their husbands in Libya to describe what they are about to do and speed up payments. 

AvvenireMigrants. In the Tripoli concentration camps another 40 Eritreans, tortured and blackmailed 

 Political talks between 75 Libyan delegates gathered for a week at the invitation of the UN in the suburbs of Tunis were suspended on Sunday. They failed to reach agreement on the names of their future leaders to oversee a transition period leading to elections in 2021. They will resume discussions in a week's time. 

The Arab Weekly: Tunis talks end without naming interim Libyan government 

Le Monde: Libye : pas d’accord sur un nouveau gouvernement d’union [Libya: no agreement on a new unity government] 


Press review:  


ParlEUThursday 19: High-level Conference on Migration and Asylum 

Süeddeutsche Zeitung: Das Sterben im Mittelmeer macht keine Pause [Dying in the Mediterranean doesn't take a break] 

InfomigrantsSenegal mourns those who drowned migrating 

Times of Malta: Malta is ‘implicated’ in migrant deaths, says Alarm Phone 

UNHCR Malta: Malta through the Eyes of a Refugee – Abbas 

El Pais: Fatoumata's drawing after surviving a shipwreck 

LiberationTunisie : à Chebba, le championnat de football ou la Méditerranée ["Tunisia: in Chebba, the football championship or the Mediterranean] 

IOM: IOM and UNHCR Carry out Joint Visit to the Canary Islands Amid Increasing Arrivals 

Human Rights Watch: Spain: Respect Rights of People Arriving by Sea to Canary Islands 

Le Monde: Les Canaries, débordées par l’afflux de migrants : « Ces citoyens dorment au milieu des rats » [The Canary Islands, overwhelmed by the influx of migrants: "These citizens are sleeping among the rats"] (Article Attached) 

Euronews: L'accueil des migrants en question sur les îles Canaries [The reception of the migrants in question on the Canary Islands] 

Vice: Greece Is Weaponizing the Coronavirus Against Refugees  


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


___ Central Med 


Médecins Sans Frontières reported on a second deadly shipwreck off the Libyan coast within a day yesterday: According to three women who were rescued by fishermen off Sorman, Libya, approximately 20 people are missing at sea and must be feared dead. IOM spokesperson Safa Msehli confirmed the shipwreck in a video statement today. 

According to journalist Sergio Scandura, the Open Arms was assigned Trapani, Sicily, as a Place of Safety to disembark 252 survivors and 6 bodies recovered in three operations since Tuesday. 5 more persons were evacuated for medical reasons by the Italian Coast Guard last night. The ship is currently approaching the coast of Italy near Trapani. 

Also according to Sergio Scandura, the crew on offshore supply vessel Asso Trenta rescued 76 people in the proximity of the Bouri oil field last night. They survivors will reportedly be disembarked in Trapani as well. 

168 people on two boats who departed from Libya were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard off Lampedusa today according to journalist Angela CaponnettoAlarm Phone had previously alerted to the distress cases. 

The Maltese MRCC sent several Navtex messages on behalf of the Libyan JRCC and Coast Guard today, alerting ships in the Central Mediterranean to a rubber boat in distress. A first message was sent this morning and a second one this afternoon. The second message detailed that there were people in the water, Sea Watch reported. 

The Chair of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany, Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, met with Italian Minister of Transport Paola De Micheli and an Italian Coast Guard representative to push for the release of the Sea Watch 4 from administrative detention. 

EKDBemühungen um Freigabe der "Sea-Watch 4" 


___ Western Med 


The Spanish government has presented a 10-point “shock plan” to respond to the surge of arrivals to the Canary Islands. The plan includes a strengthening of the security forces in countries of origin and of the diplomatic channels with those countries through a “joint response with the European Union”. Frontex will remain present on Gran Canaria until late January to support the local police in “combatting trafficking networks”. The Spanish government is also negotiating with Frontex and Senegal over the deployment of aerial assets on the Atlantic route. While aerial and maritime presence of third countries is to be reinforced, it is not clear whether the Spanish Coast Guard, stretched because of the high number of arrivals, will be reinforced. Visits to Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal by Spanish officials are planned in the coming months. The President of the Canary Islands has also called for the establishment of humanitarian corridors. 

El DiarioMedios aéreos y marítimos como plan de choque del Gobierno de España para "bloquear la salida de cayucos y pateras" hacia Canarias [Air and sea assets as a shock plan by the Spanish government to "block the exit of cayucos and pateras" to the Canary Islands] 

El PaísEl Gobierno centra su estrategia para la crisis migratoria de Canarias en la cooperación policial y una acogida temporal en carpas [The Government focuses its strategy for the migration crisis on the Canary Islands on police cooperation and temporary accommodation in tents] 

Two Senegalese men were arrested in Málaga today on charges of encouraging illegal immigration. They are suspected to have piloted a boat with 46 people on board who were rescued off the coast of Granada, Spain, on Tuesday. 

EuropapressDetenidos en Málaga el conductor y el copiloto de una patera con 46 personas a bordo por favorecer la inmigración ilegal [Driver and co-pilot of a boat with 46 people on board arrested in Malaga for encouraging illegal immigration] 


Press Review 


EuronewsAt least 74 drown after migrant boat breaks down off Libya coast 

The GuardianMore than 110 migrants die in Mediterranean in three days 

Cadena SER"Le pregunté a mi padre dónde está mamá y me dijo que no sabía": el relato de un niño rescatado en el mar [“I have asked my father where Mum is and he told me he doesn’t know”: The story of a child rescued at sea] 

WARNING – distressing video content: Paris Match"Où est mon bébé?" : le cri de détresse d'une mère après le naufrage d'un bateau de migrants [“Where is my baby?”: A mother’s cry of despair after the shipwreck of a migrant boat] 

TVE"A los migrantes en Libia los extorsionan y los torturan" ["Migrants in Libya are extorted and tortured"] 

ANSAMigranti: A Lampedusa non c'era una bara per piccolo Yusuf [There was no coffin for little Yusuf in Lampedusa] 

InfoMigrantsTunisian NGO: Migrant arrivals in Italy up 180% in October 

Al JazeeraTensions persist as Libya’s warring sides debate road to peace 

TagesspiegelWas Kinder im Flüchtlingslager Moria erleiden mussten [What children had to suffer at refugee camp Moria] 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


___ Central Med 


More than 70 people died in a shipwreck off Al Khums, Libya, today. 120 people were onboard the boat, 47 of whom were rescued by fishermen and the Libyan Coast Guard and returned to the Libyan shore. 31 bodies have been recovered. The search for victims continues. 

IOM: Devastating Shipwreck Off Libya Claims More than 70 Lives 

In a third operation within less than 48 hours, the crew on the Open Arms rescued 64 people in distress last night. Yesterday afternoon, 6-month-old Joseph from Guinea-Conakry died from the consequences of the shipwreck that the Open Arms crew had rescued him from. The body of the baby boy was evacuated from the Open Arms along with 5 survivors in critical medical condition by an Italian Coast Guard helicopter last night. 3 of the evacuated survivors, a mother, her child and a man, were brought to a hospital in Malta, while the two other evacuated survivors, a 7 months pregnant woman and the mother of the deceased baby boy along with the boy’s body were taken to Lampedusa. 257 rescued people and five bodies remain on the Open Arms, awaiting a Place of Safety. 

AP: 5 migrants evacuated, 257 onboard Mediterranean rescue ship 

L’Orient Le Jour (AFP): Une ONG recueille 263 migrants et déplore six morts 

The Guardian: Baby dies on rescue boat after Mediterranean shipwreck 

InternazionaleMorire a sei mesi nel Mediterraneo 

246 people reached Lampedusa last night and this morning. 102 people were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard and Lampedusa Harbour Master last night, 70 people were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard at dawn and 74 people reached Lampedusa autonomously this morning. They were taken to the hotspot of Lampedusa, which currently hosts more than 800 people. 

AdnKronosMigranti, ancora sbarchi a Lampedusa: arrivati oltre 240 

The Maltese Rescue Coordination Centre reportedly issued a Navtex yesterday, alerting all ships transiting in the area to a blue rubber boat in distress with approximately 40 persons on board. It is unclear whether this is one of the distress cases that Alarm Phone has been alerting to today. 


___ Western Med/Atlantic Route 


The Spanish Coast Guard reportedly rescued 104 people from 3 boats south of Gran Canaria today. 6 of them were reportedly referred to a hospital. 

The Spanish military has reportedly started installing tents at an unused military base in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, to host up to 800 people who arrived on the island via the Atlantic Ocean. Abandoned barracks on Tenerife and Fuerteventura will reportedly also be used to shelter people who arrive by boat. 

According to Anadolu Agency, Senegalese authorities have intercepted more than 1500 people on 6 boats who tried to reach Europe. It is unclear when these operations took place. 29 people were reportedly arrested on smuggling charges. 



A 15-year-old Eritrean boy was killed by gunshot when armed men entered a shelter in Tripoli and started shooting in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The boy was a registered asylum seeker with the UNHCR awaiting resettlement to a third country to have his asylum claim processed, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Libya confirmed. 

A “breakthrough” at the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum was announced in Tunis today. The participants of the meeting have reportedly reached a preliminary agreement on a “roadmap” to parliamentary and presidential elections that are to take place within 18 months. According to the Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Libya, Stephanie Williams, the roadmap also includes steps to unite institutions. 

Reuters: Libya talks reach election breakthrough, U.N. says 

Press Review 


European Ombudsman: Ombudsman opens inquiry to assess European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) ‘Complaints Mechanism’ 

 La Repubblica: Il mare dell’umanità [The sea of humanity] 

VitaLe Ong e la politica senza bussola [NGOs and politics without a compass] 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


___ Central Med 


The crew of Spanish NGO Proactiva-Open Arms rescued 88 people from a partially deflated rubber boat last night. According to Open Arms, the survivors are in precarious health. Today, the crew conducted a critical rescue: approximately 100 people, among them children, were in the water after the hull of the rubber boat they were travelling on broke and the dinghy sank. Open Arms reports that 5 casualties were recovered. The exact number of survivors is not yet known. 

El PeriódicoOpen Arms informa de al menos cinco migrantes muertos y unos cien salvados en un naufragio en el Mediterráneo [Open Arms reports at least five migrants killed and about a hundred rescued in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean] 

At least 13 people died in a shipwreck off Zuwara last night, AP reports. At least three women and one child are reportedly among the casualties. According to the IOM, approximately 11 people were rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard and returned to Libyan shores. 

16 people reached Lampedusa autonomously from Tunisia today. 100 people were reportedly transferred from the Lampedusa hotspot to Porto Empedocle, from where they will be distributed to other reception centres. According to Sky Tg24, 730 people remain in the hotspot in Lampedusa. 

36 people of sub-Saharan origin, among them a pregnant woman and five children, were reportedly rescued by the Tunisian Coast Guard off Mahdia today. According to the Tunisian authorities, their boat was damaged before the rescue. 


___ Eastern Med 


A fire has erupted at Vathy camp on the Greek island of Samos today, the International Rescue Committee reported. So far, there are no reported deaths. 

117 asylum seekers were reportedly relocated from Greece to Germany today. 

Approximately 30 people were allegedly pushed back by the Hellenic Coast Guard after they had already reached Lesbos. 


___ Western Med/Atlantic 


AP reports on rising tensions at the makeshift tent camp at Arguineguín pier, Gran Canaria. Nearly 2000 people who recently reached the island via the Atlantic are held at the structure, which was designed to shelter 400 people. The mayor of Mogán, the municipality that Arguineguín belongs to, has called on the central government to help relieve the “humanitarian drama”. Human Rights Watch has also urged the Spanish government to “alleviate” the conditions of people stuck on the pier. According to europapress, the NGO denounces the lack of respect for the dignity and the basic rights of people stranded in the port. 

According to Alarm Phone, 480 people have lost their lives off the coast of Senegal while trying to reach Europe since October 24. A social media campaign has been launched to call for national mourning. 

InfoMigrantsInquiétude au Sénégal après la multiplication des drames touchant les migrants 




In their Monthly Update, IOM Libya reports “increased violence, abuse and excessive use of force against migrants” in some coastal cities and detention centres in early October. Two migrants were reportedly killed and two others were wounded by gunshots when protesting their arrest near Sabratha early last month. 

Hanan al-Barassi, a prominent Libyan lawyer, defender of women’s rights and vocal critic of corruption and abuses among Eastern Libyan armed groups, was assassinated in Benghazi yesterday. The day before her death, al-Barassi had announced that she was going to publish a video exposing the corruption of Saddam Haftar, son of self-styled General of the Libyan National Army Khalifa Haftar. 

Le MondeHanane Al-Barassi, avocate et défenseuse des droits des femmes, abattue en pleine rue en Libye 

The GuardianGunmen shoot dead female Libyan dissident in busy Benghazi street 


Press review 


Tagesschau.deEU erhöht Druck auf Frontex-Chef [EU increases pressure on Frontex boss] 

El PaísLos fallos de la asistencia jurídica a los migrantes en Canarias o el caso del albino que nadie vio [The failures of legal assistance to migrants in the Canaries or the case of the albino who nobody saw] 

EFECEAR denuncia la indefensión jurídica de los inmigrantes que llegan a Canarias [CEAR denounces the legal defencelessness of immigrants arriving in the Canary Islands] 

UN NewsICC Prosecutor calls for Libya ceasefire progress, decries ‘powerful forces’ hampering global justice 

France24Sicily's fishermen brave weather, seas and threat of Libyan jail 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


___ Central Med 


Alarm Phone published distress alerts of 3 boats carrying a total of approximately 210 people in the Central Mediterranean today. 

Almost 160 people were rescued by the Guardia di Finanza and the Lampedusa Harbour Master off Lampedusa this morning. 306 people were transferred to the Suprema quarantine ship yesterday. There are now 762 people on board the ferry, 81 of them tested positive for COVID-19. The ship is set to depart for Augusta today. The GNV Azzurra is to arrive in Lampedusa today to take more people on board for quarantining and to further empty the overcrowded Lampedusa hotspot.  

AdnKronosLampedusa, gli sbarchi non si fermano: 150 sull'isola 

In response to the deadly attack in Nice last month, perpetrated by a Tunisian national who reached Europe via Lampedusa, the mayor of Lampedusa has announced enhanced identification procedures for people arriving to the island. New devices and additional security personnel are reportedly intended to increase controlling capacity. 

InfoMigrantsTighter controls for migrants implemented in Lampedusa 


___ Eastern Med 


The father of the 6-year-old boy who died in a shipwreck off Samos, Greece, on Sunday was arrested by Greek authorities on suspicion of endangering a life. A 23-year-old travelling on the same boat was arrested on suspicion of human smuggling. 

Washington PostGreek authorities arrest father of dead migrant child 

The Management Board of the EU’s border agency Frontex held an extraordinary meeting today. According to Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, the EU Commission has asked the Frontex Executive Director to reply to questions ahead of the next scheduled board meeting, which will take place at the end of November. Yesterday, Human Rights Watch had called on the agency’s board to set up “an independent, prompt, effective, transparent, and impartial investigation” into allegations of Frontex’ involvement in unlawful pushbacks of asylum seekers in the Eastern Med. 

Eight rights organisations, among them Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Save the Children and more, have issued a joint statement on the European Commission’s proposal of establishing an independent monitoring mechanism. The mechanism was proposed as part of the Pact of Migration and Asylum. The organisations call for an extension of the mechanism, which has the potential to address rights violations at Europe’s borders. 

Joint statementTurning rhetoric into reality: New monitoring mechanism at European borders should ensure fundamental rights and accountability 


___ Western Med 


Two boats carrying a total of 13 people were rescued by the Guardia Civil off the coast of Granada, Spain, EFE reports. 




The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) was launched in Tunis, Tunisia, yesterday. After a peace agreement between senior military and political leaders from both sides to the Libyan civil war was reached in Geneva last month, the aim of the political talks involving 75 participants is to hold national elections to achieve political legitimacy. 

UN NewsFollowing peace deal, talks on Libya's political future begin 

According to activist Andrea Gagne, the Zintan detention center in Libya is being dismantled today. Those arbitrarily detained in Zintan are reportedly to be transferred to Tripoli. It is uncertain what will happen to them there. 

A group of migrants was deported from Libya to Sudan without due process in violation of human rights, according to journalist Sara Creta


Press Review 


El DiarioInterior reactiva las expulsiones desde Canarias y deporta a 22 migrantes a Mauritania [Ministry of the Interior reactivates expulsions from the Canary Islands and deports 22 migrants to Mauritania] 

The GuardianCanary Islands appeal for help as 2,200 migrants arrive over weekend 

Evangelisch.deNach Kritik an Seenotrettung verlässt Pfarrer seine Gemeinde [Pastor leaves his parish after criticism of sea rescue] 

Welt„Ein Christ kann ertrinken lassen“ – Pfarrer verlässt Gemeinde 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


A 6-year-old child died in a shipwreck off Samos, Greece on Sunday. According to survivors, six people might be missing at sea.  

Greek City Times: Migrant child killed in shipwreck near Samos 

InfoMigrantsChild drowns as migrant boat runs into trouble off Samos 

According to the IOM, 3 bodies were retrieved off the Libyan coast today. 958 people were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya between November 3 and 9. 

The Libyan Coast Guard intercepted 119 people, among them women and children, and returned them to Libya on Saturday night, the IOM reports. 

1005 people are currently housed at the Lampedusa hotspot, which has a maximum capacity of 192. Last night, 216 people were transferred to the quarantine ferry Rhapsody, which now holds 650 people, according to Grandangolo newspaper. Another quarantine ship, the Suprema, is standing by to take more people on board to undergo a 14-day quarantine. On Sunday, 70 minors were reportedly transferred to Porto Empedocle onboard the regular ferry. 

Open Arms, rescue ship of the NGO Proactiva-Open Arms was engaged in a search for a potential boat in distress today. The crew found a backpack and an empty wooden boat. 

The Tunisian Coast Guard intercepted 28 people off Kerkennah on Saturday, L’Orient Le Jour/AFP reports. 

In an interview on Italian television broadcast live last night, Italian Minister of the Interior Luciana Lamorgese has reiterated the claim that NGO vessels that are in administrative detention were not compliant with safety standards. Lamorgese insisted that the Italian government had “no preconceptions” about NGO ships in general, so long as they adhere to the rules. 

DomaniMigranti, Lamorgese contro le Ong: «Le navi fermate erano pericolose» 


___ Canary Route 


More than 2000 people reached the Canary Islands on some 40 boats over the weekend, more than 1400 on Saturday alone. One deceased person was reportedly found on a boat with approximately 160 other people on board, many of whom suffered of dehydration. Following this record number of arrivals in one weekend, the President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, has urged the Spanish central government to react and support the islands in the reception of the arrivals. Torres also appealed to the solidarity of the European Union. Commissioner of Home Affairs Ylva Johansson had visited Gran Canaria last Friday. The situation is particularly dire at the Arguineguín dock on Gran Canaria, where hundreds of people were sleeping outside even before this weekend’s arrivals. 

RFIEspagne: près de 2000 arrivées de migrants dans les Canaries en un week-end 

PúblicoCasi 1.700 migrantes, uno fallecido, han llegado este sábado a Canarias 

20 MinutosCanarias urge al Estado a reaccionar ante la llegada récord de inmigrantes 

A Moroccan man was found guilty of two counts of involuntary manslaughter after a woman and a little girl died during a crossing that he organised from Morocco to the Canary Islands in May last year. A court on the island of Gran Canaria sentenced the man to eight years in prison and to pay more than 160.000€ in compensation. A second woman is believed to have died during the crossing, but her body was never found. 

The Guardian: Captain in fatal migrant boat journey to Canary Islands jailed for eight years 


___ English Channel 


Five people were rescued from a boat in distress in the English Channel off Sangatte, France, on Saturday morning. Three of them had to be treated for hypothermia. 

France 3: Traversées de la Manche : cinq migrants, dont trois en hypothermie, secourus au large de Sangatte 




According to the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), five more mass graves were discovered and 17 bodies recovered in the Western Libyan town of Tarhouna over the weekend. A total of 112 corpses have been exhumed from mass graves in Libya since January. According to the Minister of the Interior, one of the bodies was former general and director of information Mabrouk Khalaf. 

Al JazeeraSeventeen bodies found in new Libya mass graves 

Le FigaroLibye: 17 corps découverts dans de nouveaux charniers 


Press Review 


The New Humanitarian: Italy’s use of ferries to quarantine migrants comes under fire 

InfoMigrants: Canaries : plus de 1 600 arrivées durant le week-end, Bruxelles plaide pour des renvois [Canary Islands: more than 1,600 arrivals during the weekend, Brussels pleads for deportations] 

Mediterraneo CronacaMigrazioni, il piano sulla Tunisia anti-terrorismo che sembra anti-migrazioni [The anti-terrorism plan on Tunisia that sounds like an anti-migration plan] 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  


A boat with 16 persons was intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard and returned to Libya todayThe Libyan Coast Guard had intercepted two other boats in distress with nearly 300 people onboard on Wednesday. The survivors were forcibly returned to Tripoli, UNHCR Libya reported late yesterday evening. Nearly 1,000 persons attempted to cross in the last 5 days only, according to UNHCR accounts.  

At least 119 people, mostly from Tunisia and Sub-Saharan countries, arrived in Lampedusa in the last 24 hours onboard four boats. At least two of them had departed from Tunisia. In the end of afternoon, a total of 29 people landed onboard two boats, following two previous arrivals in the beginning of afternoon, with a total of 90 survivors 

Agrigento Notizie: Il via vai è continuo: altri 4 sbarchi a Lampedusa, in 1.274 in hotspot 

 The European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, is in Gran Canaria, Spain, today to address “migration management cooperation” matters. She stated on her Twitter account that "Migration management is a responsibility of EU as a whole”.  Her full press conference can be watched on the European Commission website.  

Yesterday, Yvla Johansson had told the French Senate that Member States should return migrants with no right to stay in the EU to their countries of origin more quickly in order to avoid fuelling a rise in "populism". The same day, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a doubling of the Security Forces guarding France’s national borders and called for a deep reform of Europe’s management of its external frontiers to strengthen the fight against illegal immigration and terrorism, on a visit to the border crossing point between Spain and France at Le Perthus, East of the Pyrenees. 

Financial Times: France to double border security forces to combat terrorism 

InfomigrantsL'union européenne veut augmenter les renvois d'étrangers en situation irrégulière [The European Union wants to increase the return of illegal migrants] 

Today, according to La Repubblica, Italian Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese announced a project of Italian-French “brigades for border control” and called for European involvement, following a meeting with her French counterpart Gérald Darmanin. This project “should provide for close collaboration with the Tunisian authorities”, with the positioning of European naval or air assets that can warn the Tunisian authorities of any departures and allow for their swift interventions in Tunisian territorial waters.  

From today until SundayGérald Darmanin embarked on a diplomatic tour to discuss “immigration and security issues” with his Italian, Tunisian, Maltese and Algerian counterparts. 
La Repubblica: Migranti, il piano di Lamorgese: "Aerei e navi per segnalare partenze dalla Tunisia" [Migrants, Lamorgese's plan: "Planes and ships to report departures from Tunisia"] 

RFI: En Italie, Gérald Darmanin aborde la question du terrorisme et du contrôle aux frontières [In Italy, Gérald Darmanin addresses the issue of terrorism and border control.] 

Le Figaro: Darmanin à Rome, Tunis et Alger pour renforcer les coopérations [Darmanin in Rome, Tunis and Algiers to strengthen cooperation] 


Press Review  


IOM: Dozens Feared Dead as Vessel Carrying Civilians Fleeing Insecurity in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, Sinks 

IOM: Growing Humanitarian Needs Among Migrants Rescued off Mauritanian Coast 

Le Monde: La majorité confrontée au retour du dossier miné de l’immigration [The majority confronted with the return of the undermined immigration file] 

Le Monde: Frontex sous pression après des accusations de refoulement de migrants aux portes de la Grèce [Frontex under pressure after accusations of refoulement of migrants at the gates of Greece] 

InfomigrantsFour migrants die trying to reach Spanish enclave in Africa 
North Africa Post: Italy deports 48 Tunisian illegal migrants 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  

Central Mediterranean 

The Open Arms left the port of Barcelona yesterday evening and is now heading towards the Central MediterraneanThe Catalan photojournalist Sergi Camara, is onboard. He published a first piece announcing the departure in Nacio Digital today 

Nacio Digital: L'Open Arms salpa de Barcelona per salvar vides al Mediterrani [The Open Arms sails from Barcelona to save lives in the Mediterranean]  

Late last night, Alarm Phone alerted to a boat in distress with approximately 81 people onboard. They reportedly departed from Libya. As of now, their fate is unknown.  


In over 12 hours, between yesterday evening and this morning, at least 177 people arrived in Lampedusa by boat. A boat with 71 people arrived yesterday eveningfollowed by two other autonomous landings of 89 and 17 people during the night. Transfers of some survivors onboard the quarantine-ship Allegra was reported this morning, the number of people concerned is not yet specified. The Rhapsody was also expected to arrive in Lampedusa this morning.  

Adnkronos: Migranti, nuova ondata a Lampedusa: 177 in poco più di 12 ore [Migrants, new wave in Lampedusa: 177 in just over 12 hours] 
Agrigento NotizieMigranti a Lampedusa, in corso l'imbarco sulla nave quarantena "Allegra"[Migrants in Lampedusa, boarding on the "Allegra" quarantine ship 

The Italian National Committee for Public Order and Security together with Italian police and intelligence services announced their decision to tighten border control of the country, including with the use of the army. The decision was made last Tuesday, November 3, during a meeting aimed to draw up an operating plan to share more effective countering of human trafficking organizations with Tunisia” 

InfomigrantsItalian government to step up border control 


Fifty persons who were returned to Libya by the Libyan fishing vessel Das As-Salam last April, and two siblings of people who died at sea, have filed constitutional proceedings against Malta’s government, contesting what they consider as a delayed rescue and pushback coordinated by Maltese Armed Forces. 50 of the plaintiffs were onboard boat in distress who was spotted by Frontex in the Maltese search and rescue zone three days before the Maltese authorities assigned the fishing boat "Dar As-Salam" to their rescue. By that time, several people had died, according to the Maltese civil rights organization Repubblika supporting the legal actionThe survivors were forcibly returned to Libya. The procedure claims various breaches of human rights, including the right to life, inhuman and degrading treatment, collective expulsion, as well as the right to seek asylum.  

Times of Malta: Migrants claim breach of rights, demand damages after Libya pushback 

Malta Today: 52 asylum seekers take government to court over delayed rescue and pushback 

InfomigrantsMaltese government in court over alleged rights abuses against migrants 

According to the Human Rights Association of Andalusia (Pro Derechos Humanos), 800 people have died in their migration journey to Spain and nearly 300 are missing.  


Press review  

Redattore Sociale: Migranti, la denuncia: “I grandi centri hanno favorito il contagio da coronavirus” [Migrants, the complaint: "The large centers have favored the coronavirus contagion"] 


Alfa & Omega: El hombre que miraba una botella de agua [The man who looked at a bottle of water] 

La VanguardiaUn balón lleno de sueños en patera [ball full of dreams in a paddle] 

El PaisInterior reactiva las deportaciones a Mauritania desde Canarias [Interior reactivates deportations to Mauritania from the Canary Islands] 


Anadolu Agency: 2 more mass graves found in Libya's Tarhouna 

Web Wire: UNICEF and WHO sound the alarm over 250 000 children at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases in Libya 
Mixed Migration Center: Report: Sharper Lens on Vulnerability (North Africa) statistical analysis of the determinants of vulnerability to protection incidents among refugees and migrants on the move in North Africa 

Europe & Mediterranean 

Deutsche Welle: More migrants try to cross the Mediterranean from Lebanon 

Al Jazeera: Macron calls for tighter EU border controls after attacks 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  

Nearly 1,000 migrants have been intercepted and returned to Libya in the past three days, IOM spokesperson Safa Msehli reported

Twenty-seven boats with at least 460 people onboard in total arrived in Lampedusa in the last 48 hours, mostly coming from Tunisia and LibyaA tragic shipwreck was narrowly avoided with a rubber boat on which there were a hundred peopleLa Stampa reports that the rubber dinghy hit a rock in an attempt to get closer to Cala Pisana, Lampedusa. A sponson was torn apart and the boat nearly sank. During the rescue performed, “mostly from land”, by the Guardia di Finanzatwo soldiers were injured and have been treated in hospital.  

La Stampa: Ventisette imbarcazioni di migranti arrivate nelle ultime 48 ore [Twenty-seven migrant boats arrived in the last 48 hours] 

ANSA MED: Gommone sta per affondare, migranti salvati da Gdf  [Rubber boat is about to sink, migrants rescued by Gdf] 

Infomigrants: Lampedusa hotspot near collapse as hundreds of migrants arrive in less than a day 

Marc Reig and Annabel Montes Mier, respectively commander and mission leader of Open Arms, were cleared of the accusations of aiding and abetting illegal immigration and private violence. Following preliminary hearing today, the Court of Ragusa decided not to proceed with the investigation, considering that "the fact does not exist for the crime of private violence" and that the crime of aiding and abetting illegal immigration is not punishable due to "a state of necessity”. The two members of Open Arms were being prosecuted following a rescue operation conducted in March 2018. Open Arms had refused to comply with an indication to allow the Libyan Coast Guard, which had assumed the coordination of operation, to finish the rescue”, arguing that Libya is not a Place of Safety.    

Il Post: Il tribunale di Ragusa ha deciso il “non luogo a procedere” per comandante e capo missione di Open Arms, accusati di favoreggiamento dell’immigrazione clandestina e violenza privata [The court of Ragusa has decided the "no place to proceed" for commander and head of mission of Open Arms, accused of aiding and abetting illegal immigration and private violence] 

A vessel with 72 people onboard was rescued this morning south of Tenerife, Spain. Among them, one deceased person and three others in serious medical conditions presenting symptoms of hypothermia and hypoglycemiaAccording to testimonies collected by the Red Cross, they had been at sea for ten days, after departing from Senegal; among the occupants, there could be ten possible minors.  

El Diario: Un fallecido y tres personas graves en un cayuco rescatado en Tenerife [One deceased and three serious people in a canoe rescued in Tenerife]  

The Government of Senegal stated on Friday that the information disclosed about the recent sinking of a canoe that caused the death of 140 peopleconfirmed by IOM, is "unfounded" and that only lifeless bodies” were recovered. 

Publico: El Gobierno de Senegal desmiente que 140 personas murieran en el reciente hundimiento de un cayuco [The Government of Senegal denies that 140 people died in the recent sinking of a canoe] 

Press review  

Corriere: Di Maio: «Fermiamo gli sbarchi, è un problema di sicurezza nazionale» [Di Maio: "Let's stop the landings, it's a national security problem"] 

Libya Observer: Unidentified assailants ransack Bani Walid Hospital 

Middle East Monitor: Libya rivals agree on roadmap towards implementing ceasefire 

Infomigrants: Libya: Nearly 1,000 migrants intercepted at sea and returned to Libya in 3 days 

 Econostrum: Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights Press release: Fight against terrorism does not mean violation of migrants' rights 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  


This afternoon, Alarm Phone alerted to a drifting boat in distress, reportedly lost at sea for two days now, with approximately 20 people onboard. At the time of alert, the boat appeared to be international waters off the coast of Tunisia according to the map Alarm Phone publishedThis morning, the NGO also alerted to 5 boats in distress off the coast of Lampedusa, with a total of nearly 360 people onboard. They had already published alerts for 3 of these 5 boats yesterday.  

According to a member of the Tunisian Parliament, the Tunisian Coast Guard rescued a boat with 31 people onboard. The survivors, from “different nationalities”, had departed from Libya.  

132 people were intercepted early this morning and returned to Tripoli, UNHCR Libya reported. According to IOM Libya’s latest maritime update, 10,398 people were intercepted and returned to Libya since the beginning of the year.  

Today, at least 727 people arrived in Lampedusa onboard 13 boats, including a deceased person. As of this evening, it is not known whether the deceased was onboard one of the boats or in the sea. Some boats were rescued by the patrol boats of the Italian Coast Guard and the Guardia di Finanza while others arrived autonomously. All were taken to the Imbriacola district hotspot, hosting nearly 1,200 peopleThe Prefecture of Agrigento plans to transfer 500 people, as many as there are places available, on the quarantine-ship AllegraIn between Sunday and today, 135 people arrived in the Southern coasts of Sardinia, aboard boats that mostly departed from Algeria according to the Firenze Post. 


ANSA: Migranti: sbarchi in serie a Lampedusa, hotspot al collasso [Migrants: mass landings in Lampedusa, hotspot collapsing] 

Mediterraneo Cronaca: Benvenuti a Lampedusa, tra l’ondata di migranti anche un cadavere [Welcome to Lampedusa, among the wave of migrants also a corpse] 

FirenzePostMigranti: altri sbarchi a lampedusa e in sardegna. rispettivamente 727 e 135. hotspot al collasso [Migrants: other landings in lampedusa and sardinia. 727 and 135 respectively. hotspot collapsing] 

About 12,000 people have reached the Canary Islands so far this year. In few hours between yesterday afternoon and evening, nearly 350 arrived, including a deceased person, onboard four boats which were rescued by Maritime Rescue and the Civil Guard, according to the Emergency and Security Coordination Center

El diarioUn total de 352 migrantes llegan en cayuco a Canarias en las últimas horas [A total of 352 migrants arrive in the Canary Islands by boat in the last hours] 


Press review  

InfomigrantsLibye : 550 migrants interceptés en mer par les garde-côtes libyens en 48 heures [Libya: 550 migrants intercepted at sea by the Libyan coastguard in 48 hours] 
El Mundo: El grito que sale de los grandes cayucos: "O Barça o muerte" [The cry that comes out of the great canoes: "Barça or death"] 

 El Periodico15 días en alta mar y 16 compañeros por la borda: la odisea de un joven para sobrevivir en una patera [15 days at sea and 16 companions overboard: the odyssey of a young man to survive in a boat] 

El Pais: Boat arrivals in Spain’s Canary Islands spark rise in anti-migrant rhetoric 

The New York Times: Hundreds Die at Sea Off Senegal’s Coast on a Perilous Route to Europe 
InfomigrantsNGOs criticize situation in migrant camps on Lesbos and Samos 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  

Between yesterday and today, at least 550 people were intercepted and forcibly returned to Libya by the Coast Guard as reported by IOM Libya180 today and more than 370 yesterday.  

Nearly 600 people onboard 12 or 13 boats (figures vary according to Italian media outlets) landed in Lampedusa yesterday. Some of these boats had departed from Libyamost of them had left from the Tunisian coast, with some people of sub-Saharan nationalities onboard, as reported by Mediterraneo CronacaAccording to this Italian media, these events are a “further proof that an irregular migration channel has opened in Tunisia for refugees. According to ANSA, 129 survivors were transferred onboard the Italian quarantine-ship SupremaThis weekend, 49 people also landed in Sardinia, mostly AlgeriansCagliaripad reports. 

Mediterraneo CronacaMigrazioni, a Lampedusa 13 sbarchi in 24 ore tra Tunisia e Libia [Migrations, in Lampedusa 13 landings in 24 hours between Tunisia and Libya] 
ANSA: Migranti: 12 sbarchi e 129 imbarcati su nave quarantena [Migrants: 12 landings and 129 embarked on quarantine ship] 

Cagliaripad: Migrantiserie di sbarchi nel sud Sardegna, arrivati in 49 [Migrants: series of landings in southern Sardinia, arriving in 49] 

This weekend, 9 people self-mutilated onboard the quarantine-ship Rhapsody, reported Sergio Scandura and an italian local media. They ingested razor blades and shards of glass. According to preliminary information, among the injured, some were also wounded with a knife. They were evacuated to Palermo’s hospitals.  

FanpagePalermo, 9 migrants on a quarantine ship swallow razor blades and glass shards 

The German NGO filed a criminal complaint against AfD politician Georg Pazderski who is said to have indicated on Facebook that the sea rescuers were jointly responsible for the knife attack in Nice 


Press review  

Al Jazeera: Libya’s warring sides meet for face-to-face talks 

InfomigrantsNice church attacker: A journey from Tunisia to Italy to France 

Newsbook: 5,000 migrants in 8 months stopped from attempting to flee Libya – Bartolo 

Europapress: Interceptan un cayuco con unas 80 personas al sur de Tenerife [Interception of a cayuco with about 80 people in the south of Tenerife] 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean and beyond 


Approximately 50 people died in Mauritanian territorial waters while trying to reach the Canary Islands. 24 survivors were rescued from the boat by the Mauritanian gendarmerie and taken to Nouadhibou yesterday. 18 of them have to receive medical attention. The survivors report that the boat left Senegal two weeks ago. When the boat’s engine failed and the boat drifted for days, dozens reportedly died from dehydration and heat strokes or fell into the water. 

El País: Unos 50 inmigrantes mueren en aguas de Mauritania tras quedar su cayuco a la deriva 

Several autonomous landings and rescues off the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands and the South of Spain were reported overnight and in the course of the day. Two boats carrying a total of 28 people autonomously arrived to the Alicante region according to europapress. Also according to europapress, the Guardia Civil located up to 13 boats off the Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Cabrera, Ibiza and Formentera today, arresting a total of 201 people. 

A strong earthquake of a magnitude of at least 6.6 hit the Aegean Sea today. A final number of casualties is not yet known, reports say at least 12 people were killed and more than 200 injured. Several buildings reportedly collapsed in the Turkish city of Izmir. The earthquake was also felt on the Greek island of Samos, where it caused a tsunami that flooded the streets. There are no reports of fatalities on Samos as of yet, but the risk of further Tsunamis remains high. 

Deutsche Welle: Turkey and Greece hit by severe earthquake 

CNNPowerful earthquake jolts Turkey and Greece, killing at least six 


Press Review 

Deutsche Welle: Libya faces uphill battle for truth and reconciliation 

Human Rights Watch: Justice Key to Durable Peace in Libya 

Deutsche Welle: The French-Turkish spat that could 'widen the civilizational divide' 

EkathimeriniNGO condemns evacuation of refugees from Lesvos’ PIKPA camp 

InfoMigrantsPrès de 200 morts en une semaine au large des côtes ouest-africaines [Close to 200 dead within a week off the coasts of West Africa] 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  


The death toll is rising following the shipwreck of boat with around 200 people, off the Senegalese coast (see the Context Update of October 26). At least 140 people are reported to have drowned. It is the deadliest shipwreck recorded in 2020” according to the IOM. According to media sources reported by IOM, the Senegalese and Spanish navies, and fishermen who were nearbyrescued 59 people and retrieved the bodies of 20 others.   

IOM: Deadliest Shipwreck of the Year Claims at Least 140 Lives 

Over 100 people, who attempted to flee Turkey onboard several boats via the Aegen Sea, were returned by Turkish Coast Guard, Turkish Security sources told the Turkish press agency Anadolu yesterday. They have been reportedly pushed back to Turkish waters by Greek coast guard, according to these sourcesAmong these people were Syrians, Afghans and 19 Turkish citizens.   
Anadolu Agency: Turkey rescues over 100 asylum seekers in Aegean Sea 

 Following media reports on Frontex’ complicity in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean (see Context Update of October 27), the European Commission has called for an “urgent extraordinary” board meeting of Frontex on November 10. 

Politico: Commission calls for Frontex meeting over migrant pushback reports 

 A knife attack killing three and wounding several other people has been perpetrated in a church in Nice, France, this morning. The author has been arrested. An investigation is on-going. International media such as AFP and Rai News report that the attacker may be Tunisian man who arrived in Lampedusa by boat in the end of September or beginning of October. If the ID documents found with him are verified, this person would have reportedly been put in quarantine before being subject to an obligation to leave the Italian territory. Several high-profile anti-immigration French and Italian politicians, among whom MeP Eric Ciotti and Matteo Salvinicalled for the suspension of all migratory flows and asylum procedures or the closure of ports. 

Le Monde: Suivez le Live Attentat de Nice : « C’est la France qui est attaquée », déclare Emmanuel Macron, qui renforcera l’opération « Sentinelle » [Follow the event live: "It is France that is under attack ", declares Emmanuel Macron, who will reinforce the operation " Sentinel "] 

The Guardian: Knife attacker in Nice kills three people 

Corriere: Attentato a Nizza, il killer era in Italia il 9 ottobre. Dopo lo sbarco a Lampedusa portato a Bari e identificato [Attacked in Nice, the killer was in Italy on 9 OctoberAfter the landing in Lampedusa, he was brought to Bari and identified] 


In Libya  

A dozen bodies have been unearthed in newly found mass graves in the Tarhuna region of western Libya. A committee official, Tawfiq, told AFP journalists a total of 98 bodies had now been found since searches of mass graves were launched after the withdrawal of Haftar’s forces from western Libya in June.  

Al Jazeera: A dozen bodies found in new Libya mass graves: Committee 

A memorandum of understanding was signed between Libya and Malta on cooperation in the field of aviation and maritime transport reported the Libyan Airports Authority yesterday. 

Libya Herald: Libya and Malta sign transport MoU allowing for Medavia flight resumption and Maltese registration of Libyan carrier 

Press review 


The Guardian: EU accused of abandoning migrants to the sea with shift to drone surveillance 

Infomigrants: L'inquiétant exode de la jeunesse sénégalaise vers les îles Canaries [The worrying exodus of Senegalese youth to the Canary Islands] 

Infomigrants: Will Spain's Canaries turn into a second Lesbos amid surge in migration? 

MSF: “The survivors share the memory of the big wave that threw them into the water” 

The Guardian: Almost 300 asylum seekers have died trying to cross the Channel since 1999 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


Following the shipwreck in the English Channel mentioned in yesterday’s Context Update, the death toll has risen to four, among them two children. French authorities believe that one more person might be missing at sea, possibly another child. The search for survivors did not resume this morning. 

The Guardian: Four dead including two children after migrant boat sinks in Channel 

BBC: Channel migrants: Deaths should be 'a wake-up call' for those in power 

According to the Libya Observer, the Libyan Coast Guard recovered five people and three bodies from a wrecked boat off the Libyan coast on Sunday. It is as of yet unclear whether this was the incident reported by IOM spokesperson Safa Msehli or a separate event. 

Libya Observer: Libyan Coast Guard rescues five migrants from wrecked boat 

Two men of Tunisian nationality were arrested on a so-called “mothership” in Italian national waters off Lampedusa. It is reported that 15 people were to embark from the vessel onto smaller crafts to reach Italian shores. The men were arrested by the Guardia di Finanza on charges of aiding and abetting illegal immigration. 

Sky TG24: Migranti, nave madre bloccata al largo di Lampedusa: due arresti [Migrants, mother ship blocked off Lampedusa: two arrests] 

NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans announced today that two of their crew members were denied embarkation on the Mare Jonio by port authorities in Augusta, Sicily, two days ago. It is the third of such instances for the organisation. While the NGO is planning to legally challenge these decisions, the Mare Jonio has left Augusta to go into dry dock for maintenance. 

Mediterranea: The Italian government blocks Mare Jonio’s activities once again. Mediterranea Saving Humans: “But they won’t stop us”  


Press Review 


SOS MEDITERRANEE: [Eyes on the Central Med #5] Deadly sea crossings: the list of shipwrecks in the Central Med gets longer while rescuers cannot help 

Deutsche WelleMigration: Das Menschenrechts-Dilemma der EU [Migration: The EU’s human rights dilemma] 

Le Monde: Les migrants algériens affluent sur les côtes espagnoles [Surge of Algerian migrants’ arrivals on the Spanish coast] 

FAKT (Das Erste): Schwerwiegende Vorwürfe gegen Frontex [Serious allegations against Frontex] 

EU ObserverConfusion over Frontex's Greek pushback investigation Italien und Frontex überwachen das Mittelmeer jetzt mit Drohnen [Italy and Frontex now monitor the Mediterranean with drones] 

Lloyd’s listStowaways’ tanker was denied port access by France and Spain 

InfoMigrantsCovid: Migrant arrivals in Italy halved, permits down 58% 

Foreign Policy: The Mediterranean Red Prawn War Signals Italy’s Lost Leverage in Libya 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and English Channel 


A boat carrying 87 people that Alarm Phone alerted to yesterday was rescued close to Lampedusa by the Italian Coast Guard late last night, reportedly just before a heavy storm hit the area. They had departed from the western coast of Libya. Earlier in the day, forty people who had departed from Sfax, Tunisia, were rescued close to Lampedusa. A fishing vessel with “migrants” on board was intercepted and seized by the Italian Guardia di Finanza close to Monastir, Tunisia. 

Mediterraneo cronacaMigrazioni, dalla Libia a Lampedusa e poi inizia una tempesta [Migration, from Libya to Lampedusa and then a storm starts] 

113 people were rescued by the Tunisian navy and the Tunisian Coast Guard off Sfax yesterday. 

WebdoTunisie : 113 migrants irréguliers, dont 9 enfants, sauvés au large de Sfax [Tunisia: 113 irregular migrants, including 9 children, rescued off the coast of Sfax] 

Up to three people are feared drowned after a shipwreck in the English Channel today, reportedly including a child. 18 people, reportedly of Iranian nationality, among them children, were rescued in an operation that involved a sailing vessel, an SNSM (French sea rescue) vessel, French navy and customs vessels and a Belgian army helicopter. Three of the 18 rescued people were under cardio-respiratory arrest, two of them children. The other survivors suffered from hypothermia, one of them a severe case. They were referred to hospitals in Calais and Dunkerque. The search for the missing person(s) was ongoing this afternoon. An exact number of victims is yet to be confirmed by the authorities. 

InfoMigrants: Manche : au moins un mort dans un naufrage au large de Dunkerque 
[Channel: at least one dead in a shipwreck off Dunkirk] 

Préfecture maritime de la Manche et de la Mer du Nord: Opération de recherche et sauvetage d’une embarcation de migrants au large de Dunkerque (59), mettant en oeuvre de nombreux moyens aéromaritimes [Search and rescue operation of a migrants' boat off the coast of Dunkirk (59), using a number of aeromaritime resources] 

Evening StandardThree feared dead ‘including child’ after migrant boat capsizes in Channel 

Following media reports on Frontex’ complicity in illegal pushbacks in the Aegean, the European Union’s border and coast guard agency today announced that it has launched an internal inquiry. Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri already stated that no proof has been found to substantiate the reports so far. While EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson took a strong stance against such practices in general in an interview with Tagesschau, a commission spokesperson yesterday said that “the commission is not the hierarchical superior of the agency, the agency is run on its own legal basis”. 

APEU agency launches probe after reports of migrant pushbacks 

EU ObserverFrontex refuses to investigate pushbacks, despite EU demand 

According to journalist EFE, a boat carrying approximately 215 people was found adrift with a broken engine off Nouadhibou, Mauritania, by Spanish fishermen who brought the survivors to Mauritania. 

A boat carrying 39 people heading to the Canary Islands was intercepted off Dakar, Senegal, by the Senegalese Army and the Spanish Guardia Civil today, EFE reports. 

In the trial against former Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, charged with kidnapping for the 21-day stand-off of the Open Arms in August 2019, a preliminary hearing was set for December 12. Open Arms have announced their presence at the hearing as a civil plaintiff. In the incident in question, the lawyers of Open Arms filed an urgent appeal to the regional tribunal of Lazio when authorities denied their vessel entry into Italian territorial waters even after having declared a state of emergency. The regional tribunal ruled in favour of Open Arms, setting an important precedent suspending the entry ban for rescue ships with survivors on board. 

La RepubblicaSalvini a processo anche per Open Arms, udienza preliminare il 12 dicembre [Salvini at trial also for Open Arms, preliminary hearing on 12 December] 




The UNHCR has announced having facilitated the release of 141 men, women and children from Suq Alkhamees detention centre, east of Tripoli. 


Press Review 


RFIAprès le naufrage d'une pirogue au large du Sénégal, un rescapé témoigne [After the shipwreck off Senegal, a refugee testifies] 

B2La formation des garde-côtes libyens : aux mains des Turcs ? Mauvais signal pour les Européens [Training of the Libyan Coast Guard in the hands of Turkey? A bad sign for Europeans] 

Levante"La crisis migratoria de Canarias la están afrontando 25 rescatadores" ["The migration crisis in the Canary Islands is being handled by 25 rescuers"] 

Deutschlandfunk„Menschen haben das Recht, einen Antrag auf Asyl zu stellen“ [“Humans have the right to claim asylum”] 

DeutschlandfunkUNO-Flüchtlingshilfe rüstet neues Rettungsschiff „Ghalib Kurdi“ von „Sea-Eye“ aus [UNO Flüchtlingshilfe equips Sea Eye’s new rescue ship "Ghalib Kurdi"] 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


At least 11 people drowned in a shipwreck off Libya on Sunday. A pregnant woman is believed to be among the victims. 10 people were rescued by fishermen and returned to Libya. It was the third shipwreck in the Central Mediterranean last week: a boat capsized off Lampedusa last Thursday, with 15 survivors rescued by fishermen and five persons presumed dead, and a shipwreck off the Libyan coast last Monday that claimed at least 15 lives. 

InfoMigrantsSeveral migrants drown off Libyan coast — again 

IOMTwo Mediterranean Shipwrecks Claim at Least 20 Lives 

 According to the IOM, 104 people were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya in the period of 20-26 October. In the same period, 49 people died or went missing in the Central Mediterranean. 4 bodies washed up on Libyan shores before any of the shipwrecks reported in this time frame. 

An unknown number of people from Senegal have died in a shipwreck after the boat’s motor exploded off the Senegalese city of Mbour. According to the testimonies of survivors, up to 200 people might have been on board. 51 people were rescued by the Senegalese army, an unknown number was rescued by fishermen. Some sources speak of more than a hundred missing, but numbers are not confirmed. 

RFISénégal: des migrants meurent noyés après le dessalage de leur pirogue [Senegal: Migrants drown following the sinking of their boat] 

El País: Decenas de jóvenes desaparecidos tras el incendio de un cayuco que iba a Canarias [Dozens of young people disappeared after a fire on a boat on their way to the Canary Islands] 

El DiarioMás de cien desaparecidos tras una explosión en un cayuco que iba de Senegal a Canarias [More than a hundred disappeared after an explosion in a cayuco boat going from Senegal to the Canary Islands] 

Alarm Phone published an alert to a boat in distress carrying approximately 100 people that reportedly departed from Libya. 

According to Sea Watch, the Italian authorities have withdrawn the order grounding the organisation’s airplane Moonbird. Sea Watch announced that Moonbird will resume operations shortly. 

On Friday, 19-year old Omar tried to reach the Spanish enclave Ceuta by swimming from the Morroccan city of Fnideq along with a group of others. While some reached Ceuta, Omar has gone missing. 

El Faro Ceuta: En busca de Omar: una vida perdida en el mar [In search of Omar: a life lost at sea] 

A boat with 167 people on board was localized and escorted to Tenerife by the Spanish Coast Guard, according to europapress. 54 people were rescued off Granada, Spain, after a day of searching by the Spanish Coast Guard, also according to europapress. 8 people were rescued and a dead body retrieved from two kayaks in the Strait of Gibraltar by the Spanish Coast Guard on Sunday. The other occupants of the kayak from which the deceased person was recovered showed signs of hypothermia. At least 1696 people reportedly reached the Canary within the past week. 

Workers’ representatives have denounced the labour conditions of Spanish sea rescuers. The situation especially of rescuers working off the Canary Islands, sometimes in 20-hour shifts, were described as “unsustainable”. 

El DíaTripulantes de Salvamento Marítimo denuncian turnos de 20 horas en los rescates [Sea Rescue crews report 20-hour rescue shifts] 

According to Aegean Boat Report, 197 people were pushed back by the Greek Coast Guard using 7 life rafts last Wednesday. 




According to an announcement made by Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the Libyan Government of National Accord, “migrant centers” under the control of the government in Tripoli through the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) should be moved away from coastal cities to inland cities. According to the government, the move aims at better controlling the issue of “illegal migration” by using “patrols in the desert”. 

InfoMigrantsLibya: Tripoli to move migrant centers to country's interior 

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has launched the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) following the signing of a permanent ceasefire deal. The LPDF is an intra-Libyan political dialogue that was established by the outcomes of the Berlin Conference last January, representing different constituencies on the principles of fair ethnic, political, tribal and social representation. 

ReliefWebLibya ceasefire: UN relaunches inclusive political forum, amid growing ‘sense of hope’ 


Press Review 


InfoMigrantsAu Sénégal, les pêcheurs et les jeunes frappés par la crise se tournent vers les îles Canaries [Senegalese fishermen and young people hit by the crisis turn to the Canary Islands] 

RFI: Les îles Canaries, nouvelle «prison» pour migrants de l'Europe [The Canary Islands, new “prison” for Europe’s migrants]

CNNBritish forces storm oil tanker after suspected hijack attempt off Isle of Wight 

Le FigaroIncident sur un pétrolier en Angleterre : l'armée arrête sept suspects 

AvvenireMediterraneo nel caos. Silenzi sugli affari sporchi in Libia [Mediterranean in chaos. Silence on dirty business in Libya] 

PoliticoFrom compassion to fortress Europe — the migration crisis in pictures 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


Sea Watch has legally challenged the detention of Sea Watch 4 by lodging an appeal with the administrative court in Palermo today. 

MSF: Lives on the line as legal appeal lodged to free the Sea-Watch 4 

A report published, among others, by Der Spiegel today proves that Frontex officials are aware of pushbacks by the Greek Coast Guard and that the agency itself has at times been involved in these illegal practices. 

Der Spiegel: EU Border Agency Frontex Complicit in Greek Refugee Pushback Campaign 

BellingcatFrontex at Fault: European Border Force Complicit in ‘Illegal’ Pushbacks 

281 people were rescued this morning in the waters off the Canary Islands. 61 people were rescued from a boat off Fuerteventura, 25 people reached Gran Canaria autonomously, and 195 people were rescued from a boat off Tenerife. 

El País: Rescatadas otras dos pateras y un cayuco en Canarias con 281 migrantes, entre ellos al menos 19 menores y un bebé [Two other boats and a cayuco boat rescued in the Canary Islands with 281 migrants, including at least 19 minors and one baby] 

According to the Italian Ministry of the Interior and as reported by Italian news agency sir, 26679 people reached Italy by sea this year, 623 of whom arrived this week. 
34 people reportedly reached Marzamemi, Syracuse, autonomously on a sailing boat today. 




Both sides to the conflict in Libya reportedly signed a permanent country-wide cease-fire agreement in Geneva this morning. 5 military representatives of both sides took part in the UN-brokered talks since Monday in preparation of political negotiations about the future of Libya that are to take place in November in Tunisia. While the cease-fire deal is reportedly effective immediately, acting UN envoy for Libya Stephanie Williams urged all parties involved to work as quickly as possible to implement the commitments of the agreement to alleviate the suffering of the Libyan population. 

Associated Press: UN says Libyan sides sign countrywide cease-fire deal Waffenstillstand in Libyen beschlossen 


Press Review 


Avvenire: La Turchia ora controlla le motovedette donate dall'Italia alla Libia [Turkey now controls patrol boats donated by Italy to Libya] 

Tagesschau.deDie Rolle von Frontex bei Zurückweisung von Flüchtlingsbooten [The role of Frontex in pushbacks of refugee boats] 

DomaniI migranti continuano a morire nel mediterraneo, ma il problema sono le ong [Migrants continue to die in the Mediterranean, but the problem is the NGOs] 

El PaísEl Gobierno canario devuelve sus hijos a cinco mujeres que llegaron en patera [The Canary Islands Government returns their children to five women who arrived on boats] 

InfoMigrantsLesbos: A mental health crisis beneath the surface 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean 


Italian fishermen on fishing vessel N.vo Cosimo reportedly rescued 14 persons of Libyan nationality south of Lampedusa today. 5 people are missing at sea, among them a mother and her child. A search operation involving Liberian-flagged container ship Contship Fun, an Armed Forces Malta helicopter and another fishing vessel is ongoing. According to journalist Sergio Scandura, the boat left Zawiya, Libya, on Tuesday night, but ran out of fuel and met worsening weather conditions once it passed the Bouri oil field, some 60 NM off the Libyan coast. 

Mediterraneo cronacaMigrazioni, altri 5 morti. Un solo evento sgretola tutta la politica italo-libica [Migrations, 5 more deaths. One event shatters all Italian-Libyan politics] 

The Louise Michel, rescue vessel funded by artist Banksy, announced today that the ship is unable to leave port for the time being since her registration is being challenged. It is unclear which authorities are challenging the registration of the vessel. 

In October, the administrative court in Hamburg ruled that the introduction of higher security standards for vessels that are used for humanitarian purposes, as imposed by German Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer, contradicts EU law. Today, the deadline for an appeal to the decision expired, as German NGO Mare Liberum announced. The de facto detention of smaller vessels such as the Mare Liberum and the Josefa should therefore be lifted. 

The Turkish Ministry of Defense has announced that the Turkish armed forces have started training the Libyan Coast Guard. Italian defense sources reportedly stated that Italian support to the Libyan Coast Guard will continue as planned. 

La Repubblica: La Turchia prende il controllo della Guardia costiera libica [Turkey takes control over the Libyan Coast Guard] 

2600 people have reached the Canary Island by boat within the past week, as many as in all of 2019. In the port of Arguineguín, on Gran Canaria, Red Cross tents that were initially set up only for registration at disembarkation and then dismantled, have turned into an ad hoc first reception center hosting more than 1300 people on the pier. 

PúblicoCanarias recibe 2.600 migrantes en una semana, tantos como en todo 2019 [The Canaries receive 2600 migrants in one week, as many as in all of 2019] 



According to IOM and UNHCR sources, 3196 people are being held in 11 detention centers in Libya, ANSA reports. 

InfoMigrantsLibya: 3,200 migrants held in detention centers 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  

At least 15 people are reportedly missing following a shipwreck off the coast of Sabratha yesterday, reports IOM Libya. Five survivors were brought to shore by fishermen. 

This late afternoon, Alarm Phone alerted to a missing boat with approximately 10 persons onboard. The boat would have left Algeria four days ago to reach Sardinia, Italy, according to relatives’ testimonies reported by the NGO 

Seven boats with a total of 253 people onboard arrived in Lampedusa last night. Most of the survivors are Tunisians according to the Italian Coast Guard. They were taken to the hotspot in the Imbriacola district. This morning 98 men, women and children arrived at the port of Le Grazie di Roccella, in Calabria, Italy. Most of them are Iranians, Iraqis and Pakistanis reports the local media City Now, according to which they had departed from Turkey. Between yesterday evening and this morning, a total of 17 people onboard two boats landed in Porto Pino, Sardinia, reported the Italian news agency Italpress.  

La Repubblica: Night of landings in Lampedusa: 253 migrants arrive 

City Now: Nuovo sbarco, un centinaio di migranti al porto di Roccella [New landing, a hundred migrants at the port of Roccella] 

Tiscali Sardegna: Proseguono gli sbarchi in Sardegna, 17 migranti arrivati a Porto Pino [The landings in Sardinia continue, 17 migrants arrived in Porto Pino] 

Italian Admiral Ettore Socci has handed over command of the European maritime force of EUNAVFOR MED IRINI’s Operation to Greek Commodore Theodoros Mikropoulos on Monday. Until early October, Commodore Theodoros Mikropoulos was Chief of Staff at IRINI's Operation Headquarters in Rome.  

Greek Reporter: Greek Officer Assumes Command of EU Navy Operation in Libya 

Bruxelles 2, Le blog de l’Europe politique: Irini. Un Grec prend le commandement de la force navale au large de la Libye [Irini. A Greek takes command of the naval force off the coast of Libya] 

 The European aerospace company Airbus and two Israeli arms firms won EU contracts totalling 100 million euros to operate unmanned drones to spot refugees and migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea to Europe"reports The Guardian. The drones will be based in either Greece, Italy or Malta according to the newspaper. Frontex’ budget increased from 6 million euros in 2005 to 142 million euros in 2015, before surging to 460 million euros this year. 

The Guardian: Airbus to operate drones searching for migrants crossing the Mediterranean 

In Libya  

The United Nations’ acting Libya envoy, Stephanie Williams, said today that she was “quite optimistic” that ongoing talks in Geneva between Libyan warring sides would lead to a lasting ceasefireafter they agreed to reopen land and air routes across front lines. 

Reuters: U.N. acting Libya envoy 'optimistic' on ceasefire talks 

Libyan News Agency: UNSMIL Issues Statement On Libyan Military Committee 5+5 Talks In Geneva 

 Libya’s oil sector is back on the rise. The easing of a blockade by eastern forces, which had cut output by more than 90% to around 100,000 barrels per day, has seen production recover to about 500,000. The UN-backed government in Tripoli expects that to double by year-end. 

Reuters: Factbox: Libya's troubled oil sector sees new revival 

 UNHCR and UNICEF launched a joint plan to expand assistance, improve delivery of essential services and protection to the children on the move and their families in Libya”. 


Press Review 

Infomigrants'He slipped away ... under the waves, screaming, until he disappeared': Kandia's Mediterranean crossing 

Associated Press: Spanish islands struggle with migration surge amid pandemic 

EFE: El Defensor investiga el caso de los niños a los que separan de sus madres [The Ombudsman investigates the case of children who are separated from their mothers] 

MSF: MSF reclama la liberación urgente del Sea Watch 4 bloqueado en Sicilia desde hace un mes [MSF demands the urgent release of Sea Watch 4 blocked in Sicily since a month] 

The New York Times: E.U. Tells Cyprus and Malta to Abandon ‘Golden Passports’ 

Le Journal des activités sociales de l’énergieSOS Méditerranée : “Ce dont on ne témoigne pas est invisible” [SOS MEDITERRANEE: "What we don't testify to is invisible"] 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  

67 peopleincluding women and childrenonboard a fishing boat landed at the port of Reggio CalabriaItaly, yesterday afternoonAccording to Avvenirethe fishing boat first left Libya before embarking people in Crete, Greece, which would be “confirming new strategies of smugglers' organizations”.  

Reggio TodayNuovo sbarco in città, peschereccio con oltre 60 migranti a bordo approda al porto [New landing in the city, fishing boat with over 60 migrants on board arrives at the port] 
AvvenireTrafficanti. Un altro strano approdo di migrati in Calabria. Cambio di strategia libico [TraffickersAnother strange landing of migrants in CalabriaLibyan strategy change] 

Between the 12 and 19 of October, 12 people were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, reports IOM Libya in its maritime update. In total, since the beginning of the year, 9,851 people were intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard.  
The shipwrecked boat rescued on Sunday 18th by the Italian Coast Guard with 6 survivors and at least 5 missing persons (see yesterday’s Context Update) had been reported missing by Alarm Phone on October 14thAccording to La Stampa, the Italian Coast Guard were able to find the boat thanks to a call from relatives who provided telephone numbers of keens onboard 

La Stampa: Odissea sul “barchino” dall’Algeria alla Sardegnamuoiono in 5, i loro corpi gettati a mare [Odyssey on the boat from Algeria to Sardinia: 5 die, their bodies thrown into the sea] 

Infomigrants: Sicily: Six migrants saved and five dead after 10 days at sea 

On Thursday, October 15, a group of 60 asylum seekers was relocated from Crotone, Italy, to Hanover, Germany, reports Infomigrants. Since September, UNHCR has relocated some 124 asylum seekers from Italy to other EU member states. 

A boat with 24 people arrived autonomously at the Arguineguín dock this morningOver 300 people arrived in the Canary Islands yesterday, onboard 13 different boats and one pirogueAccording to EFE, the flow of boats to the Canary Islands reached unprecedent levels since the “pirogues crisis” a decade ago, with over 300 people arriving each dayToday, the acting Ombudsman of Spain regretted shortcomings regarding the Spanish detention centres for migrants. 

EFE: Una patera con 24 personas llega directamente al muelle de Arguineguín [A boat with 24 people arrives directly at the Arguineguín dock] 

EFE: Se elevan a más de 300 los migrantes llegados a Canarias durante este lunes [More than 300 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands this Monday] 
EFE: Defensor del Pueblo: "Las necesidades de quienes llegan en patera se cubren lo justito" [Ombudsman: "The needs of those who arrive by boat are covered just enough"] 


Press review 


La Repubblica: Morte di un ragazzo [Death of a boy, the story of Abu Dakite] 

France Bleu: Sangatte : deux policiers se jettent à l'eau et sauvent des migrants [Sangatte: two policemen jump into the water and rescue migrants] 

 Infomigrants: Caporalato: 180,000 'vulnerable' workers in Italian agriculture 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean 

Italian Admiral Vittorio Alessandro visited the Ocean Viking on Thursday 15th, in support of the release of SAR NGO vessels. In an interview given to Sergio Scandura for Radio Radicale, he expressed his opposition to the detention of SAR NGO ships which he considers important rescue assets 

A boat that had reportedly departed from Annaba, Algeriaon October 9 and was alerted to by Alarm Phone on Saturday was rescued by Italian Coast Guards on Sunday, with the support of Air Forces and Frontex aircraft according to Sergio Scandura. Out of the 11 people that embarked5 died during the journey, survivors reported 

Mediterraneo Cronaca: Migranti si perdonoaltri cinque cadaveri nel Mediterraneo [Migrants are lost, five more corpses in the Mediterranean] 

About 54 people, including women and children, arrived in Lampedusa onboard two different boats yesterday, reported Mediterraneo CronacaBoth boats had reportedly departed from Tunisia.  
Tensions have reportedly risen inside the quarantine ship Adriatica between survivors and police forces, at the end of last weekSome of the survivors jumped overboard when the Italian ferry had just arrived in the port of Palermo from Lampedusa. 

La Sicilia: Scontro migranti-agenti di Polizia all'interno della nave quarantena "Adriatica" [Migrants-police officers clash inside the quarantine ship "Adriatica"] 

La Sicilia: Migranti si lanciano dai ponti della nave quarantena "Adriatica" [Migrants jumped from the deck of the quarantine ship "Adriatica"] 

Some 9050 people were rescued or intercepted between 1 March and 31 July in the southern areas of the central Mediterranean, covered by the EU naval forces, according to the first report produced by Operation EUNAVFOR Med Irini as reported by B2, European political blog. Almost half (45%) of those who had left Libya were intercepted by the Libyan coastguard in search and rescue areas in Libya and Malta, according to UNHCR data. A quarter (24%) were rescued by the Italian authorities, and 7% were rescued by the Maltese Armed Forces, 7% by NGOs, 4% by merchant vessels.   
Bruxelles 2, Le blog de l’Europe politique: Méditerranée. Les garde-côtes libyens effectuent toujours la moitié des sauvetages [Mediterranean. The Libyan coastguard still carries out half of the rescues.] 

UN Security Council report: Smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya 

In response to two reports published in September by Amnesty International on the cycle of violence faced by migrants fleeing Libya, Frontex sent a letter to the NGO stressing the fact that the Agency has “no mandate to coordinate search and rescue cases” and that their Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance (MAS) tool is being used to inform competent RCCs when distress cases are spotted. 

Amnesty International reports: Malta: Waves of impunity and Libya: Between life and death 


  In Libya  

Twelve unidentified bodies were discovered in five new mass graves in the city of Tarhuna, Haftar’s last stronghold in western Libya, on Sunday. The city was used as a launchpad during an offensive to seize Tripoli from the GNA. 

Al Jazeera: Twelve bodies found in Libya mass graves 

This week, the UN are hosting Libyan military leaders in Geneva in hopes of paving a way for ‘complete and permanent ceasefire’. The fourth round of talks involving the Joint Military Commission, under the watch of the head of the UNSMIL, started today and is expected to run through Saturday.  

Associated Press: UN hosts Libyan military leaders in hopes of end to conflict 

945 new cases of COVID-19 were registered on Saturday and 26 people died of the novel Coronavirus on Sunday, reported the National Centre for Disease Control. Libya’s count rose to 48,790 confirmed cases, including 725 deaths 


Press review  

Malta Today: Malta customs seize 23 powerboats destined for Libya’s migrant smugglers 

UN News: Twelve migrants dead, others missing off the coast of Djibouti: IOM 

Il Manifesto: The route to Europe is a graveyard 

The Guardian: Senior Libyan coastguard commander arrested for alleged human trafficking 

 FanpageIl caso Moonbird: quando è la politica a ostacolare il salvataggio delle vite in mare [The Moonbird case: when it is politics that hinders saving lives at sea] 

Forensic Architecture: Video: Pushbacks Across the Evros/Meriç River: Situated Testimony (Preview) 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean 


17 bodies of people who lost their lives in the shipwreck off Sfax, Tunisia, on Sunday have been recovered to date. The death toll is now assumed to be at 21: four or five people are still missing but must be assumed drowned, according to a Sfax judiciary spokesperson. The majority of the seven survivors rescued on Sunday are of Ivorian nationality. 

InfoMigrantsNaufrage de migrants en Tunisie : le bilan passe à au moins 21 morts 

More details have been reported on the rescue conducted by Italian-flagged offshore supply vessel Asso Ventinove. According to journalist Sergio Scandura, 68 people who had departed from Libya were rescued at sea and disembarked in Lampedusa last night. 

Also according to Sergio Scandura, the 43 people reported in distress by Alarm Phone since Sunday were rescued by an Armed Forces Malta patrol vessel. Alarm Phone reports that the distress case was first sighted by merchant vessel ALK which provided shelter until the patrol vessel arrived. 

According to the IOM, 81 asylum seekers were relocated from Malta to Germany today. 




According to local sources, Abd al Rahman al-Milad, known as “Bidja”, was arrested outside Tripoli today, journalist Sara Creta reports. According to the UN (2018), Bidja has been affiliated with the Libyan Coast Guard in Zawiya and accused of human trafficking and smuggling and violence against migrants and refugees. 

Khaled Al-Mishri, president of the Libyan High Council of the State, met with Maltese Foreign Affairs Minister Evarist Bartolo in Malta today “to discuss the state of affairs in the north African country”. Bartolo urged all parties to the conflict to respect the ceasefire agreement. 

Times of MaltaTop Libyan official in Malta for talks 

The rivalling parties to the war in Libya have reportedly agreed to continue constitutional talks brokered by the United Nations in Egypt. A first round of talks ended yesterday. The possibility of holding a referendum on the current draft of the constitution is reportedly being discussed. 

Daily SabahLibyan rivals agree to hold 2nd round of talks in Egypt after positive 1st round 


Press Review 


SOS MEDITERRANEE: [Eyes on the Central Med #4] « Shocking cycle of violence » for people fleeing Libya denounced by the UN, reinforced at sea by the EU 

The ConversationDispatch from a refugee camp during the COVID-19 pandemic 

Open MigrationI migliori articoli su rifugiati e immigrazione 38/2020 [Best articles on refugees and immigration 38/2020] 

FRANCE 24'I'd rather die at sea': The Lebanese attempting to flee to Cyprus 

InfoMigrants'Deprived of their liberty': Long-term asylum seekers in Italy who test positive for COVID-19 sent to quarantine ships 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean 


According to Alarm Phone, approximately 43 people are still in distress in a storm in the Maltese Search and Rescue Region after the organisation alerted the authorities to the emergency on Sunday. 

According to journalist Sergio Scandura, Italian-flagged vessel Asso Ventinove, standby vessel of Bouri oil platform, is approaching Lampedusa with rescued people on board. 

A total of 129 survivors on three boats were rescued by the Spanish Coast Guard off the coasts of the Canary Islands this morning, according to europapress

Several people tested positive to COVID–19 on quarantine ferry Rhapsody of the GNV company. La Repubblica reported 53 infections yesterday, while La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno reported 88 cases today. 

In their Monthly Update, IOM Libya writes that the month of September was marked by a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the country with more than 34000 registered cases since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Three organizations in Italy and Tunisia, Associazione Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione (ASGI), the Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Économiques et Sociaux (FTDES), and Avocats sans Frontières (ASF), have requested access to Italian and Tunisian government documents on the agreement concerning migration issues reached between the two countries on August 17. 

InfoMigrantsAssociations request access to Italy-Tunisia agreement 

Autonomous landings and interceptions off the coasts of Italy’s Calabria region have reportedly increased over the past months. Avvenire reports that crossings from Turkey and Greece to the South of Italy have multiplied. 




The Libyan government reportedly discovered two mass graves in Tarhuna, northeast of Tripoli, on Monday. The total number of bodies is as of yet unknown as the exhumation of bodies is ongoing, as the General Authority for Research and Identification of Missing Persons said in a statement. The graves were likely left behind by retreating forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar. 

Anadolu AgencyLibyan government discovers 2 mass graves in Tarhuna 

Production at Sharara, Libya’s largest oil field, restarted on Sunday afternoon. The Libyan Government of National Accord and the self-styled Libyan National Army under Khalifa Haftar agreed to lift the oil blockade after nine months in September. 

Wall Street JournalLibya Restarts Oil Production at Biggest Field 

Press Review 


IOMStrengthened Partnerships on Migration Discussed at Seventh EU-IOM Strategic Meeting 

Deutsche WelleLesbos: Is another Moria in the making? 

Deutsche WelleGermany warns Turkey against 'provocation' in Mediterranean over gas exploration 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


___ Central Mediterranean 

13 people reportedly died in a shipwreck off Sfax, Tunisia, yesterday. According to the Tunisian authorities, 30 people were trying to reach Italy when their boat sank. The Tunisian Coast Guard recovered the bodies of 8 women and 3 children and continues to search for missing people. 8 people have been rescued, according to the IOM

ReutersAt least 11 die as migrant boat sinks off Tunisia 

The Alan Kurdi of German NGO Sea Eye was detained after an 8-hour Port State Control in Olbia, Italy, on Friday night. Sea Eye has turned to their German flag state authorities for support, but to no avail so far. According to Sea Eye, the Alan Kurdi was certified as ready for operations by German and Spanish authorities after the ship was detained for the first time this year in May. 

Sea EyeItaly continues illegitimate repression of German rescue ships 

According to the IOM, 390 men, women and children have been intercepted and returned to Libya within the past 48 hours. 391 people were intercepted and returned to Libya between October 6 and October 12, the IOM reports. 

786 people reached the island of Lampedusa on 35 boats over the weekend. 308 people, 8 of whom tested positive to COVID–19, have been transferred to quarantine ship SNAV Adriatico on Sunday. 236 will reportedly be quarantined on the SNAV Allegra. 

AGI: A Lampedusa hotspot strapieno. Al via i trasferimenti  

AgenPressLampedusa. 308 migranti in quarantena sulla nave Snav. Otto sono positivi 

According to ANSA, the Tunisian Coast Guard intercepted a boat carrying 10 people off the city of Sousse that was reportedly headed to Italy yesterday. Another 15 people were reportedly intercepted by the Tunisian authorities off Zarzis in the night from Friday to Saturday. 

24 people of Iraqi nationality reached the southern Italian town of Santa Maria die Leuca from Greece on Sunday night. One of them tested positive for COVID–19. 7 people of Afghani, Sri Lankan and Iranian nationalities reached the town of Otranto, Italy, also from Greece, on Sunday afternoon. 

La RepubblicaSalento, sbarcano 24 migranti arrivati in barca dalla Grecia. Uno è positivo al Covid 

The Danish government has set up a working group to “avoid a new Maersk Etienne case”. The working group is supposed to analyze the events around the longest stand-off in the Mediterranean involving the tanker Etienne. Three Danish ministries, the Danish Maritime Authorities and the Danish Shipowners’ Association will participate. 

ShippingwatchRegeringen nedsætter arbejdsgruppe for at undgå ny Maersk Etienne-sag 

___ Western Mediterranean 

1015 people reached the Canary Islands in 485 boats within 48 hours between Thursday and Saturday. It is the highest number of arrivals since 2006. Increased surveillance of Mediterranean coast of Morocco might be pushing people to attempt the perilous crossing of the Atlantic to the Canary Islands to reach Spain. 

ReutersCanary Islands sees biggest migrant surge since 2006 

The Senegalese Navy intercepted two wooden canoes carrying a total of 186 people during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday last week. A Spanish Frontex vessel participated in the operation off the city of Mbour, south of the Senegalese capital Dakar. The people were reportedly trying to reach the Canary Islands. 

InfoMigrantsSenegal intercepts 186 people heading for Spain 

The Spanish Coast Guard rescued people from multiple boats over the weekend: Two boats carrying 27 and five people respectively were rescued south of Málaga on Saturday. 35 people were rescued from two boats close to Gran Canaria on Saturday night, EFE reports. 17 people were rescued off Gran Canaria on Sunday evening according to el Diario

___ Eastern Mediterranean 

Turkey dispatched research vessel Oruc Reis to the Eastern Mediterranean today. The ship was withdrawn from the Mediterranean in September, officially to conduct regular maintenance, but reportedly to avoid EU sanctions. German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas will be in Cyprus and Greece tomorrow and in Turkey on Wednesday to support negotiations in the dispute over territory and natural gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. Greece has called the renewed dispatch of the Turkish research vessel “a direct threat to peace”. 

TagesspiegelTürkei facht vor Maas-Besuch den Gasstreit im Mittelmeer an 




On Friday, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) called for the immediate release of 60 people, including 24 children, that are being held by armed men in a warehouse in Sabratha, Libya. The group was among 350 people that were abducted from their homes in Al Ajaylat on the night of September 28. Some have since been released, others were able to escape, but according to MSF, 60 remain in captivity. 

MSF350 abducted from their homes by armed men 


Press Review 


AftenpostenSom 16-åring overlevde Hassan et skipsforlis. Nå redder han migranter i Middelhavet. [As a 16-year-old, Hassan survived a shipwreck. Now he is rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean.] Interview with SOS MEDITERRANEE SAR Team Member Hassan. 

The GuardianFootballers and fishermen: Italy's red prawn war with Libya turns ugly 

Alarm PhoneSix Years Alarm Phone: The Struggle at Sea continues 

 Il Manifesto«Navi umanitarie, sono fermi politici. L’Italia chiede requisiti inesistenti» ["Humanitarian ships, they are politically deadlocked. Italy asks for non-existent requirements".] 

Foreign PolicyThe World Needs a New Refugee Convention 

La RepubblicaLa presidente di Msf: "Basta con le navi quarantena, sono discriminatorie e aumentano il rischio contagio" [Msf President: "No more quarantine ships, they are discriminatory and increase the risk of infection".] 

Migration Policy InstituteCriminalization of Search-and-Rescue Operations in the Mediterranean Has Been Accompanied by Rising Migrant Death Rate 

RFI«Il y a encore beaucoup à dire sur le trafic d'êtres humains en Libye» ["There is still a lot to be said about human trafficking in Libya."] 


SAR/Political context in the Central Mediterranean 

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor, condemned today the criminalization of Carola Rackete and the Iuventa 10 crew members in ItalyShe regretted that “they continue to face stigmatization in connection with their human rights work protecting the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers at risk in the Mediterranean Sea.” 

The Open Arms, who left the port of Palermo on Tuesday, arrived in Barcelona. They announced today that they would resupply, make technical adjustments, change the crew and “return to sea as soon as possible”.  

In an investigation published by AvvenireItalian journalist Nello Scavo says new official documents prove that only a fraction of the EU funds for Libya are destined for the promotion of human rights” and that the establishment of a Libyan Joint Coordination Centre to intercept boats at sea has been organized and paid from Italy 

The European Pact on Migration was part of the agenda of a videoconference of EU Home Affairs ministers that took place today. An online live press conference followed.  


Also in the Mediterranean 

Today, only three days after a situation report published by the Italian Ministry of Interior on the number of people landing on Italian coast, the Italian SIR information agency reports a new update from the same Ministry. Since the beginning of the week, 173 people have been registered arriving on Italian coasts, which brings the total number of people arriving by sea to up to 779 since the beginning of the month of October. 

About 20 boats were rescued or landed in the Spanish coasts these past 48 hours according to Salvamento Maritimo who reported each case in its Twitter feed 

NGOs dedicated to rescue at sea in the Eastern Mediterranean, and of which 33 members are currently under an ongoing legal procedure (see the Context Update of October 2nd), would have been spied on by the Greek government in a four-month operation. This revelation was made by the Minister of Migration Notis Mitarakis on television on Sunday. Two agents working for the Greek intelligence posed as migrants. They reportedly have been sent to a Turkish beach from where they would have contacted the rescue NGOs' whistle-blowers as reported by the French media Libération 

LibérationMigrants : Athènes lance une guerre en eaux troubles contre les ONG [Migrants: Athens launches a warfare in troubled waters against NGOs] (Article attached) 

Al Khaleej Today: Greek agents posed as migrants to pass on evidence against NGO workers 


In Libya 

Two Libyan vessels, repaired with the EU and Italian support, were returned to the Libyan Coast Guard today“The refitting of these two vessels has been a prime example of the constructive cooperation between the European Union, an EU member state – Italy, and Libya,” said EU Ambassador-designate to Libya, Jose Sabadell. These vessels will be used for search and rescue to save lives and tackle human trafficking and organised crime along the Libyan coast” stated the Delegation of the European Union to Libya, while the Director of the Libyan General Administration for Coastal Security (GACS) stressed that the “joint objective is the fight against trafficking and organised crime”. 

 Between March and September 2020, 465 children have been intercepted at sea and brought back to Libya after trying to reach safety in Europe, according to data collected by the International Rescue Committee (IRC). As a reminder, from January 1st until October 5thIOM Libya counted 9,448 people intercepted at sea and forcibly returned to Libya.  


Press review 

The New Humanitarian: Greece’s ‘new tactic’ of migrant expulsion from deep inside its land borders 
Infomigrants: Témoignages: "Il est parti dans les vagues, en criant, jusqu'à ce qu'il disparaisse de nos yeux" : l'effroyable traversée de la Méditerranée de Kandia [Testimony: "He left in the waves, shouting, until he disappeared from our eyes": Kandia's dreadful crossing of the Mediterranean Sea] 

Le Monde: Série Vidéos : La migration vue par ceux qui restent : Episode 1, au Sénégal, Daouda pleure ses fils perdus en mer Episode 2, au Sénégal, Adji raconte l’absence d’un frère [Video Series: Migration seen by those who stay: Episode 1, in Senegal, Daouda mourns his sons lost at sea; Episode 2in Senegal, Adji tells the absence of a brother]  

L’Orient le Jour: Près de 200 migrants interceptés au large du Sénégal en partance pour l'Espagne [Nearly 200 migrants intercepted off the coast of Senegal on their way to Spain] 

 InfomigrantsDeal with Lebanon makes seeking asylum in Cyprus more difficult 


SAR/Political context in the Central Mediterranean  

According to Alarm Phone, the 5 people onboard a boat in distress they alerted to on October 5thwere returned to Libya 

Following a complaint issued by his Italian legal guardian, an investigation will be held by the Palermo Prosecutor's Office to identifthe causes of the death of Abu Dakite, a 15-year-old unaccompanied minor rescued by Open Arms in September. He was in critical health condition when evacuated from the quarantine-ship Allegra, on September 30. An autopsy was planned to be conducted today 

Emergency and Open Arms: Precisazioni sullo stato di salute di abou dakite [Clarifications on abou dakite's health status] 

The Guardian: Death of teenage boy on Italian 'quarantine ship' being investigated 


Also in the Mediterranean 

Over 7,500 people who fled the fire that destroyed the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos are now living in tents among the rubble and dust of a former shooting range in an informal settlement that has become known as “Moria 2.0, with little access to water or basic sanitation. 


In Libya 

A Nigerian man was killed yesterday, burned alive, and 3 other men suffer burns following the attack of a factory by three Libyan men in the Tripoli neighbourhood of Tajoura, as reported by the Chief of Mission of the IOM Libya and the interior ministry of the U.N.-supported government.  

The National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reported the registration of more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours. 

Press review 

The Guardian: Video: The captain of the Astral, rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean during the Covid-19 pandemic 

Euronews: Migranti, in Tunisia si chiedono: “Che accordo abbiamo firmato con l’Italia? Fateci vedere il testo” [Migrants: in Tunisia the question is asked: "What agreement have we signed with Italy? Let us see the text"] 

Politico: EU migration plan doomed to fail without solidarity, Greece says 

European Parliament: Report: EU External Migration Policy and the Protection of Human Rights 

 Infomigrants: Italy: Liberian dies at worksite, work permits given to coworkers 

Associated Press: Greek court rules Golden Dawn party criminal organization 


SAR/Political Context in the Central Mediterranean 

Yesterday evening, Alarm Phone alerted to a boat in distress, taking water, in the Maltese SAR Zone with 5 people onboard, including one in urgent need of medical attentionThe organisation said this afternoon that they lost contact with the boat and that Malta acknowledged the distress case this morning, but “doesn’t know where the boat is”.  

In the period of 28 September to 5 October, the bodies of 11 migrants washed up on shore and no survivors were returned to Libya but more than 9,400 people were returned to the war-torn country since the beginning of the yearreported IOM Libya today, in its latest weekly maritime update. 

The Italian Council of Ministers passed a new decree on migration last night, modifying the security decrees initiated by Matteo Salvini. Vessels carrying out rescues "in line with maritime law and in coordination with national authorities" will no longer be fined. However, any rescue ships deemed to be operating illegally can be punished with fines of between 10,000 and 50,000 euros, with the possibility of up to two years in prison for crew members”, summarised AFP. 

Italian Council of Ministers: Press release 

Redattore Sociale: Migrantiecco come il nuovo Decreto Immigrazione modifica i dl Salvini 

[Migrants, here's how the new Immigration Decree modifies the Salvini decrees] 

LinkiestaDopo 13 mesiIl governo modifica, ma non cancellai decreti sicurezza di Salvini [After 13 months the government amends, but does not cancel, Salvini's security decrees] 

According to the Italian researcher Matteo Villa, from ISPI think tank, stand-offs at sea have almost halved with the arrival of Lamorgese compared to Salvini’s governance, by going from 8,5 days to 4 days 

In the opening of the United Nations Refugee Agency's main annual meeting yesterday, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi criticized the European policy of closure with regards to people migrating via the sea. He especially qualified the Maersk Etienne’s historically prolonged stand-off as “shameful”, adding that "reducing search and rescue capacity, or impeding those who engage to save others, or pushing back people without due process, will not stop people from moving; it will only lead to more deaths and the further erosion of refugee protection." 
France 24: Europe's pushback of migrants 'shameful': UN refugee chief 

Le Figaro: Migrants : le patron du HCR exprime sa «honte en tant qu'Européen» [Migrants : the head of UNHCR expresses his "shame as a European"]

About 50 people arrived today at dawn in the Catanzaro area. It is the fourth landing in the last five days along the Ionian coast of Calabria, according to the Italian press

agency ANSA. Another 43 people arrived onboard a sailing ship in Salento, Southern Italy, yesterday. They jumped into the water to escape controls. All have eventually been tracked down by authorities. So far, 24,332 migrants have landed on the Italian coasts since the beginning of the year as reported by the Italian Ministry of the Interior 

Following the successful outcome of the PSC control she has been subjected to, Open Arms left Palermo and is currently headed to Spain.  

Between January 2018 and June 2019, more migrants and refugees arrived in Spain than in Italy, according to the latest IOM report on “trends and evolving arrival patterns through the Central and Western Mediterranean Routes”.  

In Libya 

A positive atmosphere prevailed in the ongoing Morocco talks between representatives of the Libyan High Council of State (HCS) and the Tobruk Parliament, loyal to the retired General Khalifa Haftar, according to Middle East Eye Monitor. An “imminent agreement on criteria for positions of sovereignty” is expected.  


Press review 

Infomigrants: Rescue NGOs urge Italy to stop blocking their vessels at sea 

Infomigrants: Italie : dans les navires de quarantaine, des centaines de migrants enfermés loin des regards [Italy: in quarantine shipshundreds of migrants locked away out of sight] 

Human Rights Watch: GreeceInvestigate Pushbacks, Violence at Borders (29 NGOs call on the European Parliament to “investigate allegations that Greek law enforcement officers and masked allies are summarily and unlawfully returning asylum seekers to Turkey”) 

 CollateralSaype arriva a Torino con “Beyond Walls – Oltre i muri” [Saype arrives in Turin with "Beyond Walls".] (With an Interview of Saype in which he mentions SOS MEDITERRANEE) 


SAR/Political context in the Central Mediterranean 

Three survivors onboard the quarantine-ship Azzura jumped overboard yesterday. Two were recovered but one remains missing.

A 15-year old died in a hospital in Palermo after spending 15 days onboard the quarantine-ship Allegra without getting appropriate medical attention according to its legal guardian. He had been disembarked and brought to a hospital after entering into a coma on Saturday. 

38 people arrived in Malta on Saturday, as confirmed by the Maltese Home Affairs Ministry spokesperson to Alarm Phone believes it is the same boat in distress they alerted to, on Thursday night. Alarm Phone had previously reported that the Armed Forces of Malta were sighted towing the distressed boat that had previously been assisted and monitored by a Maltese commercial vessel, the Ambra. 

Times of Malta: AFM allegedly spotted towing distressed vessel in Maltese SAR zone 

The Open Arms successfully passed a Port State Control (PSC) conducted in Palermo on Saturday as reported by the Italian Coast Guard. The latter qualified it as an “important result in the context of the initiatives put in place by the Italian Coast Guard to ensure that all ships, including NGO units, carry out their activities in compliance with the specific rules”. 

Saturday’s preliminary hearing of Matteo Salvini in the Gregoretti case resulted in his trial being postponed to November 20 as the prosecutor wishes to carry out further investigations. The court summoned Prime Minister Conte as well as the current Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, and the head of diplomacy Luigi Di Maio before ruling on the dismissal of the case requested by the defenceIn a 55-page document, the defence argues that “the waiting time before migrants disembarked was the time needed for discussions with the other European Union States, to organise, even before they set foot on Italian territory, their redistribution and their journey to their host country.” 

During a live interview on the Maltese television channel ONE, Prime minister Robert Abela urged the opposition to implement a common policy on migration focusing on the fact that Malta cannot take more pressure from migration.” Abela added that Malta “cannot consider Libya as a problem but as a country with which the EU can build good diplomatic relationships, the same way that Malta did over the past nine months.” 

At the initiative of Agora Europe, several academics and NGOs dedicated to saving lives at sea (SMH, Mediterranea and Sea Eye) signed joint declaration on rescue at sea. 


Also in the Mediterranean 


The NGO Caminando Fronteras has alerted authorities in the Canary Islands on Monday that there may have been six boats lost at sea with 274 people on board since July, according to information provided by families. 

According to the latest data published by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, during the month of September alone, the Canary Islands have received “2,148 immigrants in 89 boats. Since January 1st to September 30, 6,081 immigrants had arrived or been rescued in the Canary Islands. 



Today, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged “world powers and other countries with interests in Libya´s long-running civil war” to keep working toward a lasting cease-fire between its rival governments, warning that the country´s very future "is at stake”, reported the Daily Mail.  


Press review 

IOM: Report: Migration in West and North Africa and across the Mediterranean: Trends, risks, development and governance 

Al Jazeera: Eight migrants drown off Djibouti’s coast after forced off boat by smugglers 

Le Phare Dunkerquois: Dunkerque : 16 migrants récupérés dans une mer agitée et ramenés au port  [Dunkirk: 16 migrants picked up in rough seas and brought back to port] 

 Lighthouse ReliefA Farewell to the North of Lesvos 


SAR/Political context in the Central Mediterranean 

This morning, Alarm Phone alerted to a boat in distress “drifting in Maltese Search & Rescue zone” with approximately 38 people onboard. According to the hotline, Maltese vessel has been monitoring the boat 

Angela Caponnetto reported today that two boats coming from Turkey, with a total of about a hundred people onboard, were intercepted by the Italian Guardia di Finanza and landed in CalabriaShe added that approximately 80 other people arrived in Lampedusa from Libya last night and another boat with about 90 people landed in Lampedusa a little later  

In La Repubblica, the journalist Alessandra Ziniti revealed abstracts of an Italian official document which, according to her, “demonstrates how the Ministry of Transport wants to stop the Italian NGO [Mediterranea], despite it having abided by the regulations in place. The document, issued in May 2020 by the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the Maritime Directorate of Western Sicily, and the Palermo Harbour Master's Office, explicitly aimed at preventing the Mare Jonio from performing rescue operations “in a stable and organised manner", adding “until the unit in question is fully certified according to the rescue regulations. As reported by the Italian newspaper, the harbourmaster's office therefore stopped recognising the provisional class certification of Rescue provided to the Mare Jonio by the Italian Ship Register (RINA), the body officially in charge of these matters. 

La Repubblica: "La Mare Jonio non deve effettuare operazioni di salvataggio in modo stabile e organizzato" ["The Mare Jonio shall not carry out operations of rescue in a stable and organised manner"(Article attached) 

Following a week-long mission to Malta from 21-26 September, the UN Human Rights Office called today for “urgent action to address the dire situation of migrants attempting to cross the central Mediterranean Sea in search of safety in Europe” as well as the urgent need to “tackle the shocking conditions they face in Libya, at sea, and – frequently - upon their reception in Europe. In particular, the press release reports “serious allegations of failure to assist people in distress at sea and possible coordinated push-backs that should be duly investigatedespecially targeting the Libyan Coast Guard and the Armed Forces of Malta. “What is happening to migrants in Malta – and elsewhere in Europe – is the result of a failed system of migration governance, one that fails to place the human rights of migrants and refugees at the centre and for too long has been marked by a lack of solidarity forcing frontline states such as Malta to bear the brunt of the responsibility,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, as reported by the Times of Malta 

UN Human Rights’ office (OHCHR): ‘Shocking’ cycle of violence for migrants departing Libya to seek safety in Europe  

Times of Malta: UN slams ‘shocking’ conditions for migrants in Malta 

Matteo Salvini will go on trial tomorrow (Saturdayon kidnapping charges over the incident that occurred in 2019, when 116 people rescued at sea were prevented from disembarking from the Italian coastguard ship Gregoretti, under the so-called "closed ports" policy. 

The Guardian: Matteo Salvini goes on trial over migrant kidnapping charges 

France 24: Defiant Salvini readies for migrant trial as allies rally 

Also in the Mediterranean  

According to Mare Liberum, the detention of their two ships is lifted. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure had introduced, mid-August, certain changes to the Shipping Safety Regulations increasing the requirements that small ships had to meet in order to be allowed to operate. The new regulation particularly affected the two vessels of Mare Liberum, effectively banning them from leaving for reconnaissance trips to rescue people in distress in the Mediterranean SeaAs reported by Die Zeit, “according to a decision by the Hamburg Administrative Court, the so-called detention orders are illegal” due to the fact that “the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure did not notify the European Commission of the changes - as would have been necessary - according to the notification directive.”  

Die Zeit: Schiffe von Flüchtlingshilfsorganisation dürfen wieder auslaufen [Ships belonging to refugee relief organisations allowed to leave] 

On Monday, the Greek police issued a press release announcing criminal investigation on 33 NGO members from four organisations and two people from “third country nationalsSeveral Greek media reported that the four NGO are: Mare Liberum, Sea Watch, FFMEV and Alarm Phone-Watch the Med. Alarm phone published a press release yesterday stating that they "will not be silenced” and calling those in solidarity with people on the move to raise awareness of and to protest against the crimes against humanity that are perpetrated on a daily basis in the Aegean”, adding that “the increase of human rights violations and push-backs is not a phenomenon happening locally from Greece towards Turkey alone (...)  Alarm Phone also witness a trend towards illegal push-backs from Malta and Italy towards Libya and Tunisia in the Central Mediterranean, as well as from Spain towards Morocco in the Western Mediterranean. 

Alarm Phone-Watch the Med: The Real Crimes are Push-backs and Human Rights Violations by the Greek Government 

Greeks News On Demand: Greece Smashes Migrant Trafficking Network, Arrests Dozens of NGO Operatives 

VimaPress:  Τέλος στη δράση ευρωπαϊκών ΜΚΟ που διευκόλυναν την διακίνηση μεταναστών από την Τουρκία στη Λέσβο [End to the action of European NGOs that facilitated the movement of migrants from Turkey to Lesvos] 

Over 1000 asylum seekers have been relocated from Greece to seven other European Member States (Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal) through a European Commission-funded programme, reported the IOM on Wednesday     



The EU has drawn up plans to deploy European military observers to Libya if a cease-fire takes hold, reports Politico. The stated objective is “for the bloc to play a more active role beyond its borders”. A draft 10-page document prepared by the EU’s foreign policy arm and obtained by Politico outlines three main optionssupporting a Libyan-led mission, contributing to a U.N-led cease-fire monitoring mechanism or establishing an EU monitoring mission. Both of the latter two options would take place under a mandate from the U.N Security Council. One of the ways to support a U.N.-led effort” would be to strengthen the mandate of Operation IRINI. The mission’s mandate could “be amended to support the ceasefire monitoring through aerial surveillance over Libya,” the document says. 

Politico: EU draws up options for boots on the ground in Libya 


Press review 

Dinamo Press: Mediterraneo, all’orizzonte non si vede nessuna discontinuità [Mediterranean, no discontinuity can be seen on the horizon] 

Mediterranea (with Sea-Watch, Open Arms and Doctors without Borders): Press Release: 3 October 2013/2020 in the Mediterranean: "Saving lives is not optional" 

CadenaserÒscar Camps: "Cada año que cumplimos es un año en el que la Unión Europea no ha hecho su trabajo" [Òscar Camps: "Every year that we turn in, is a year in which the European Union has not done its job"] 

BBC News: Asylum seekers: UK considered floating barriers in Channel 

InfomigrantsChannel smugglers 'made huge profits', European police 

TV5 Monde: Documentary replay: C’est la goutte d’eau [It’s a drop of water] 


SAR/Political context 

Nearly 70 people were rescued off the coast of Ben Guerdane, South East Tunisia, by the Tunisian Coastguard and disembarked in Tunisia yesterday as reported by the IOMAccording to the Italian press agency ANSA, the boat in distress had departed from the Libyan coast on Monday. A woman gave birth on board the boat 

ANSA: Migranti:68 subsahariani salvati da Guardia costiera Tunisia [Migrants: 68 sub-Saharans rescued by the Tunisian Coastguard] 



Also in the Mediterranean 

Salvamento Marítimo rescued 65 people in distress at sea, aboard three different boatssouth of Gran Canaria, reported Europa Press. 

Tensions and protests arose in the Greek Malakasa camp on the outskirts of Athens after officials reported the first death of a migrant in the country due to COVID-19", reported ANSA.  

139 vulnerable asylum-seekers, including children suffering serious health problemstheir immediate families and 53 unaccompanied minors, who had been living in overcrowded Greek island camps have left for Germany today as reported by the greek media Ekathimerini.   


In Libya 

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Libya has reached over 32,000 in September, according to the IOM.  

At the end of September, the American Stéphanie Williams, acting UN special envoy in Libya, is due to leave her post. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is stepping up his efforts to find a successor but difficulties persist, according to Radio France International: The application approved by the Americans does not suit African countries in the Security Council. According to a diplomat, they are asking for an African to fill the post but Washington has already twice obstructed an African candidacy.”  

RFI: Libyel'introuvable successeur de Salamé au poste d'envoyé spécial de l'ONU [Libya: Salamé's unfindable successor as UN special envoy] 


Press review 

La Repubblica: Lampedusa, il peschereccio tunisino non si ferma all'alt: la Guardia di Finanza spara e lo abborda [Lampedusa, the Tunisian fishing boat doesn't stop at the halt: the Guardia di Finanza shoots and boards it.] 

France Culture: De Tripoli à Ouaga : des scrutins à l’épreuve de l’insécurité [From Tripoli to Ouaga: insecurity-proofed polls] 

Bruxelles 2, Le blog de l’Europe politique: Le navire amiral de l’opération Irini hors de service. Le QG change de main [The flagship of Operation Irini is out of service. The HQ changes hands] 

News: «C’est la goutte d’eau» : un documentaire original et bouleversant sur la crise des migrants ["It’s the drop of water": an original and moving documentary on the migrant crisis] (This French documentary to be broadcasted on October 1st, follows a theatre company performing a original play inspired by a three-week stay aboard the Aquarius in 2016) 

 Made in Marseille: Avec l’Aquarius et Ocean Viking, SOS Méditerranée a sauvé 31 799 personnes en cinq ans [With the Aquarius and the Ocean Viking, SOS MEDITERRANEE has saved 31,799 people in five years.] (With quotes from Sophie Beau and Nick Romaniuk, following the press conference and event organised by the French association on Friday 25 and Saturday 26) 


SAR/Political context 

Based on testimonies, the hotline Alarm Phone estimates that six shipwrecks occurred between September 14 and 25 and that at least 190 people are missing or died in the Central Mediterranean, while survivors were rescued by fishing vessels in several instances. 

On Saturday, the IOM announced that 120 people were returned to Libya by the coastguard after facing severe distress at sea. Upon disembarkation, survivors reported to IOM staff that 15 people drowned in the shipwreck. 

The same day, Sea Watch announced that one of its aerial assets, Seabird, had spotted several boats in distress at sea, reporting a dysfunctional or absent SAR coordination as well as interceptions and forced returns to Libya. 

This past week, between September 22 and 28, 517 people were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya as reported by the IOM.  

Some of the people rescued by the Alan Kurdi and disembarked in Olbia, Sardinia on Saturday have been tested positive to the novel coronavirus while the ship’s crew have all been tested negative according to Sea Eye.  

The latest draft of the decree to modify two previous security decrees by former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is now headed to the Italian cabinet according to the Italian press agency ANSA. The draft includes cancellation of million-euro fines placed on NGO ships. Potential jail time for activists at sea however reportedly remain. “It concerns those who don't coordinate with the maritime authorities of the countries of the flag their ships fly or who are working in rescue”, as reported by ANSA.  

Infomigrants: Italy: New decree on migration ready, Salvini regulations out 

After meeting the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, as well as several commissioners including Ylva Johansson (Home Affairs) in Brussels, the UN High Commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi welcomed “significant advances" such as the recognition of the duty to rescue people at sea. He called for an “urgent” implementation of the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, stating that "there is an emergency. We have had boats in the Mediterranean for months, (migrants) pushed back, the dramatic situation of the Greek islands... The list is long. We can't wait: we have to have a better system in place before next summer and its seasonal surge of arrivals," reported the French press agency AFP, adding that "without solidarity, some countries - Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Italy, Spain - will remain in the front line, which would be profoundly unfair. Relocation (of migrants) is the most effective way to alleviate their burden". 

Le Figaro: Réforme de l'asile de l'UE: l'ONU réclame une mise en oeuvre «urgente» [EU asylum reform: UN calls for "urgent" implementation] 

Also in the Mediterranean  

Three people drowned and 755 were intercepted off the coast of Algeria between 20 and 25 September, according to a report by the Ministry of Defence published on Saturday.  

Infomigrants: Algeria stopped 755 from heading to Europe 20-25/9 

Le Parisien: Algérie : en dix jours, 10 clandestins noyés et 1200 autres repêchés [Algeria: in ten days, 10 illegal immigrants drowned and 1,200 others rescued] 

Cypriot coast guard forces “pushed back, abandoned, expelled, or returned more than 200 migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers coming from Lebanon during the first week of September 2020 without giving them the opportunity to lodge asylum claims”, Human Rights Watch reported today. 

Yesterday, a man was rescued by the Spanish coastguard after a 10-day journey at sea according to Europa press. The survivor indicated that he left the North African coast together with three other people on board who died during the journey. Another rescue of approximately 31 people occurred off the coast of Almeria.  


In Libya  

The second round of Libyan talks are due to begin today in Morocco, with the participation of representatives of the High Council of State in Libya and the House of Representatives. 

Middle East Monitor: Libya dialogue resumes in Morocco despite conflicting agendas 

Al Sharq Al-Awsat: Libyan Dialogue to Resume in Morocco’s Bouznika on Tuesday 

Bangladeshis stranded in Libya and willing to return home were to be sent back today to their country by a flight, chartered by the IOM, as reported by United News of Bangladesh. Two earlier flights in September reportedly brought back a total of 323 Bangladeshis, “including some who were rescued at sea while trying to go to Europe”. 

New Age Bangladesh: 3rd special flight to bring Bangladeshis back from Libya  


Press review 


TV5 Monde: Reportage video: Libye, comment lutter contre le coronavirus dans un pays en guerre ? [Video report: Libya: how to fight against the novel coronavirus in a country at war?] 

 RTS: "Nous constatons une fermeture progressive de l’espace de travail humanitaire et la pandémie de Covid n’a pas aidé" ["We are seeing a gradual closure of the humanitarian workspace and the Covid pandemic has not helped". (interview of Caroline Abu Sa’da, Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Swizerland)

The New York Times: The Ship That Stopped 7,000 Migrants, and Smuggled 700,000 Cigarettes 

 Infomigrants: Italy: League rally in Sicily ahead of Salvini's hearing in Gregoretti case 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


At least 13 people presumably drowned and 3 bodies were recovered following a shipwreck off the Libyan Coast, as the IOM reports. 22 people were rescued by fishing vessels and returned to Tripoli. 

According to the UNHCR, 124 people aboard a rubber boat were intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard and returned to Libya yesterday. 

NGO Mediterranea has announced that the Mare Jonio was stopped from leaving the port of Pozzallo by the port authorities today. Two crew members were not allowed to embark, forcing the organisation to postpone the next rescue mission. 

MediterraneaVietato soccorrere: il Governo italiano blocca anche la Mare Jonio [Forbidden to help: the Italian Government also blocks the Mare Jonio] 

RepubblicaMigranti, la Guardia costiera vieta l'imbarco del team di ricerca e soccorso sulla Mare Jonio [Migrants, the Coast Guard prohibits the embarkation of the search and rescue team on the Mare Jonio] 

The Alan Kurdi arrived in the port of Olbia, Sardinia, to disembark 125 survivors today. 

InfoMigrantsAlan Kurdi ship to disembark 125 migrants in Sardinia 

L’ExpressLe navire humanitaire Alan Kurdi a finalement accosté en Sardaigne [The humanitarian ship Alan Kurdi has finally docked in Sardinia] 

Almost all people hosted in the hotspot of Lampedusa were transferred to quarantine ferries yesterday and today. Yesterday, 477 people, 15 of whom tested positive to COVID-19, were transferred to the GNV Rhapsody, which is now anchored off Palermo. 377 people, 11 of them COVID-positive, embarked on the Azzurra, which will anchor off Augusta. 51 will be transferred to Porto Empedocle onboard a regular ferry and 37 will remain at the hotspot for now, according to Agrigento Notizie. 

Agrigento NotizieTrasferimenti conclusi: restano 37 migranti all'hotspot di Lampedusa [Transfers completed: 37 migrants stay at the hotspot of Lampedusa] 

19 people who departed from Libya on a small dinghy reached Lampedusa autonomously early this afternoon. According to Mediterraneo Cronaca, among the 19 are men of Gambian, Senegalese, Pakistani and Libyan nationalities. 

Mediterraneo cronacaMigrazioni, dalla Libia a Lampedusa 19 persone 


The first debate of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs revealed that most groups in the European Parliament deem the proposal of the European Commission for the new Pact on Migration and Asylum insufficient. Many criticized a lack of concrete action, demanding, for example, a compulsory relocation of refugees. Several groups voiced concerns for the fundamental rights of those arriving at Europe’s borders in light of the proposed screening and border procedures. 

European ParliamentMEPs question whether the new Migration Pact will bring about real change 

Three of the four heads of states of the Visegrád Group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic) met in Brussels on Wednesday to voice their disapproval of the proposal for the new Pact on Migration and Asylum. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis insisted that screening of potential applicants for asylum should be done outside the EU, in states such as Syria and Libya. 

EuronewsPremière mise au point sur le pacte migratoire européen 

SOS MEDITERRANEE France organized a press conference yesterday at the event of the association’s 5th anniversary and to announce the day of solidarity taking place tomorrow with an exhibition and the screening of two documentaries: “Méditerranée, le nouveau cimetière des réfugiés” and “Numéro 387 – Disparu en Méditerranée” in Marseille. 

20 MinutesMigrants : « On nous empêche de sauver des vies », le coup de gueule de SOS Méditerranée [Migrants: "We are being prevented from saving lives", SOS Mediterranean's blow to the head, interview with Sophie Beau] 

AFP: Après "cinq ans de combat", anniversaire teinté d'inquiétudes pour SOS Méditerranée [After "five years of struggle", anniversary tainted with uncertainty for SOS Méditerranée, PDF attached] 




According to differing local sources, up to five people died and more were wounded in clashes between different groups loyal to the Government of National Accord in Tajoura, east of Tripoli. 

Al ArabiyaOne dead, multiple injured in clashes between GNA factions in Libya’s Tajoura 

Hawar NewsLibyan sources: clashes among "Accord " groups, reports of killing commander of "Lions of Tajoura" 


Press Review 


ANSASicurezza: bozza decreto migranti, stop multe milionarie alle Ong [Security: draft migration decree, stopping million-dollar fines to NGOs] 

DeutschlandfunkAmnesty International berichtet von „Verschwindenlassen“ von Migranten [Amnesty International reports on “forced disappearances” of migrants] 

Al JazeeraRefugee journalists in Lesbos tell their own stories 

Al ArabiyaLebanon: Migrants flee one horror to find another in ‘death boats’ on Mediterranean 

Tagesschau.deFrankreich und die Türkei – Kraftprobe im Mittelmeer [France and Turkey – show of strength in the Mediterranean] 


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean 


The 125 survivors on Alan Kurdi will disembark in Olbia, Sardinia, tomorrow morning. After Sea Eye’s announcement of setting course for Marseille in absence of coordination by Maltese and Italian authorities yesterday, the French government reportedly appealed to the Italian authorities to find a solution for the disembarkation of the survivors in a closer port. According to Sea Eye, the Italian Coast Guard instructed the vessel to anchor off Arbatax, Sardinia, to shelter from bad weather last night. The Italian Ministry of the Interior announced today that in light of the deteriorating weather conditions, the survivors would be allowed to disembark in port and that 80% of the survivors rescued by Alan Kurdi would be relocated to other European countries. 

Sea EyeAlan Kurdi anchors off Sardinia 

Le Monde: Migrants : le navire humanitaire « Alan Kurdi » se dirige finalement vers la Sardaigne (Quotes François Thomas, President of SOS MEDITERRANEE France, PDF attached) 

Amnesty International has published a new report documenting accounts of refugees and migrants who have suffered or witnessed abuses and crimes such as unlawful killings, disappearances, torture, sexual violence, arbitrary detention and forced labor. More recent developments described in the report include the systematic transfer of people to unofficial detention centers after disembarkations in Libya. 

Amnesty International: LIBYA: ‘Between life and death’: Refugees and migrants trapped in Libya’s cycle of abuse (full report) 

Il ManifestoLibia, l’inferno non è solo dentro i centri. La denuncia di Amnesty 

El MundoAmnistía Internacional denuncia el "círculo vicioso" de violencia que sufren migrantes y refugiados en Libia y pide a la UE que no colabore con las autoridades 

The security decrees issued by former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Salvini in 2018/2019 are to be replaced with a new law by the current Italian government. The draft of the new security decree reportedly entails a scaling back of the fines for unauthorized entry to Italian territorial waters by rescue organisations as well as the prohibition of push-backs and deportations in some cases. Some provisions of the new draft decree remain unclear. It is reported that the government can block rescue ships that do not comply with instructions by the competent authority. Minister of Interior Lamorgese has publicly speculated whether sanctions against rescue NGOs that the new decree provides for could include criminal charges. The new decree has yet to pass the Council of Ministers. 

AdnKronosMigranti, Lamorgese: "Ipotesi sanzioni penali per ong" 

Zeit OnlineItalien will drakonische Strafen für Seenotretter zurücknehmen  

Around 90 people were relocated from Malta to France, where their claims for asylum will be processed, yesterday. 

Lovin MaltaAround 90 Immigrants Relocated From Malta To France As Part Of Agreement To Share Irregular Migration Responsibility 

The boat in distress Alarm Phone issued an alert to on Tuesday was reportedly intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard. According to Sea Watch’s Moonbird, whose crew monitored the interception, there were people in the water. It is unclear whether they could be recovered. 




The EU has imposed sanctions on a Turkish shipping company whose vessel was accused of breaking the arms embargo on Libya. Turkey insists that the vessel was carrying humanitarian aid. 

Al JazeeraTurkey slams ‘biased’ EU sanctions over Libya arms embargo 


Press review 


WELT„Dann wäre es mit der vermeintlichen Humanität schnell wieder vorbei“ [“That would be the end of the supposed humanity”, interview with MSF Germany advocacy advisor on migration] 

InfoMigrantsMigrants à Lesbos : Paris va accueillir un total de 500 mineurs de Moria [Migrants on Lesvos: Paris will accommodate 500 minors from Moria] 

Independent.ieEU states can pay to send refugees back under new migrant rules 


SAR/Political context in the Central Mediterranean 


Today, the European Commission unveiled its proposal for a new Pact on Migration and Asylum, accompanied by recommendations on cooperation among Member States concerning operations carried out by vessels owned or operated by private entities for the purpose of search and rescue activities. It is now up to Member States to discuss it and agree with the way forward via the European Parliament and Council.  

The Alan Kurdi started setting course for Marseille this morning, with 125 remaining survivors onboard. The vice-mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, tweeted that the city would  be in favour of opening its port if the Alan Kurdi asks for it, but the French government spokesperson told AFP that “the boat must be received in the safest, closest port to allow disembarkation”, and that France “will continue to apply this rule with [her] European partners" 

Nice Matin (AFP dispatch)Marseille prête à accueillir "sans condition" le Alan Kurdi et ses naufragés [Marseille ready to welcome "unconditionally" the Alan Kurdi and her shipwrecked people] 

The Seabird spotted a fiberglass boat in distress with approximately 25 people onboard in the Libyan search and rescue zone as reported by Sea Watch.  



In his centre piece address to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, warned that risks of renewed confrontation in Libya are intensifying, noting his disturbance of the massive concentration of mercenaries and weapons that violate the Security Council resolutions. 

The Libya Observer: Guterres warns of fresh round of clashes in Libya 

Press review 

The Guardian: EU proposes to ditch refugee quotas for member states 

BBC News: Europe migration: EU plans mandatory pact to 'rebuild trust' 

Deutsche Welle: EU plans tougher controls in migration policy overhaul 

InfomigrantsItaly to airlift 300 migrants from Lesbos 

Infomigrants: Italy: Six migrants found in refrigerated truck, one COVID-19 positive 


SAR/Political context in the Central Mediterranean  

boat in distress off the coast of Libya, with approximately 86 people onboard, has been reported this morning by Alarm PhoneAccording to Alarm Phone, the Libyan coastguard acknowledged the open case but refused to send a rescue asset. As we send this Context Update, there are no further information regarding this case 

8 people were medically evacuated from the Alan Kurdi this morningas reported by Sea Eye.  

The Seabird, one of Sea Watch’s aerial assets, has been flying over the Central Med lately. On Sunday, it spotted a boat in distress in the Maltese Search and Rescue Zone with approximately 28 people onboard. It was eventually rescued by Italian Coastguard as reported by Sea Watch.  

Yesterday, the Italian Coastguard published a Press Release on the detention of the Sea-Watch 4.  

119 people have been intercepted off the coast of Libya last nightaccording to UNHCR Libya. Between the 15 and 21 September, 476 people were intercepted at sea and forcibly returned to Libya as reported by IOM Libya’s latest update 

Yesterday, the Tunisian authorities announced they had intercepted 19 different boats in one night, carrying a total of 246 people. The majority of those aboard were of Tunisian nationality. 

On this eve of the release of the EU’s new Pact on Migration and Asylum, IOM and UNHCR published a joint press release in which they call for “a common EU action to take responsibility for search and rescue, and for disembarking people rescued at sea” and for more predictable arrangements on relocation within the EU”.  

The shipping industry (ECSA, ICS, ETF and ITF) wrote an Open Letter addressed to the European Commission to call for action to “ensure prompt and predictable disembarkations for persons rescued at sea by merchant vessels 

A coalition of human rights groups, including WeMove Europe and Oxfam filed a complaint to the European Commission concerning infringements of EU law by Greece in its treatment of people seeking asylum in EuropeThe human rights organizations address several allegations of rights violations, including continued violent pushbacks of people seeking asylum towards Turkey. 

Oxfam: Rights groups press European Commission to investigate violations of EU law in Greece over treatment of migrants 

InfomigrantsInvestigate Greek violations of EU law on migrants’ say human rights groups 


Also in the Mediterranean 

In the Canary Islands, the pandemic has not been hindering arrivals as reported by AFP. Since January, more than 5,100 people have made the perilous crossing from the African coast, an increase of 500 percent from the same period in 2019 

RFI: Despite virus, no letup in migrant arrivals in Canaries 
Algerian coast guard announced today that they recovered 10 bodies from the sea and intercepted a total of 485 people who were on board several boats off the Algerian coast between 15 and 19 September.  

The North Africa journal: Algeria: Migrants perish off the coast of Algeria, hundreds rescued 

La Provence (AFP dispatch): Dix noyés et près de 500 migrants interceptés au large de l'Algérie [Ten drowned and nearly 500 migrants intercepted off the coast of Algeria] 

Press Review 

The Guardian: How rescuing drowning migrants became a crime 

InfomigrantsRelocation, solidarity mandatory for EU migration policy: Johansson 

EkathimeriniMinister in Evros for meeting on new border fence 

CNN News: Lesbos: Hundreds test positive for Covid-19 after migrant camp fire 


SAR/Political Context in the Central Mediterranean 



  • On Sunday, a person reportedly attempted suicide by jumping overboard the Azzurra, one of the five quarantine ships, according to Sergio Scandura. This person has been recovered by Guardia di Finanza and brought back on board the quarantine ship. According to Majdi Karbai, member of Tunisian Parliament who released a video on Twitter, another person attempted suicide onboard the same ship three days ago. 


  • The crew onboard the Open Arm is undergoing a 14-day quarantine. Today is the fourth day, according to the organization.  


  • Since Saturday night, following an 11-hour Port State Control, the Sea-Watch 4 is being detained, in the port of Palermo, by Italian Maritime Authorities. According to MSF’s press release, the Italian coast guard announced it had discovered “irregularities of a technical and operational nature to the extent that they risk compromising not only the safety of the crew but also of those who have been or could be rescued”. United4Rescue, Sea-Watch and MSF further explained, in a joint press release, that “the main allegation is that saving lives is not in accordance with the ship's registration. The Sea-Watch 4 had too many life jackets on board and the sewage system was not designed for the number of people rescued”. 


  • This weekend, UNHCR Libya witnessed 219 people being forcibly returned to Libya after being intercepted at sea. 

UNHCR Libya: “128 persons were intercepted”, September 20  

UNHCR Libya: “91 persons were returned back to Libya", September 21 


  • A record of 26 autonomous landings within a few hours in Lampedusa and over a thousand people in the hotspot was recorded this weekend.  

RAI: Lampedusa, record di 26 sbarchi in 24 ore, hotspot supera le mille presenze [Lampedusa, record of 26 landings in 24 hours, hotspot over a thousand presences] 

Ansa: Migranti: 12 sbarchi nella notte a Lampedusa [Migrants: 12 night landings in Lampedusa] 


  • The Italian national ombudsman for detainee rights visited the Rhapsody, one of the five GNV quarantine ships anchored off Palermo, last week. According to Infomigrants, Mauro Palma said that he had found better conditions than those in temporary facilities provided in hotspots in the country: "The overall feeling [was one] of dignified lodgings and the professionalism of workers," the statement said. Some 868 are under quarantine onboard the ship, as part of COVID-19 regulations, 54 have tested positive for the virus but are asymptomatic. 


  • Nello Musumeci, head of Sicily’s region, published a statement on Facebook stating that at least 60 people rescued by Open Arms were tested positive to COVID-19 in Palermo. He deplores, among other matters, a lack of European solidarity.  


  • In media interviews, the EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson drew up the main lines of the Pact on migration and asylum that she will unveil officially on Wednesday. She insisted on the need for European solidarity: "the big problem is the absence of a compulsory solidarity mechanism. Countries such as Greece can rely solely on ad hoc solidarity. This is not enough. If a country is under pressure, other states members must help,” she said in La Libre Belgique. The Pact should also be focusing on returning those who were not granted asylum to their countries of origin and on the monitoring of migration routes.   

La Libre Belgique: “Il nous faut un mécanisme de solidarité obligatoire” ["We need a compulsory solidarity mechanism"] (Article attached)  

Euronews: New EU Migration Pact requires member states to take more migrants from frontline nations  

  • On Saturday, the Italian Relief Corps of the Order of Malta reported a birth onboard a dinghy off the coast of Lampedusa.  


Also in the Mediterranean:


Today, the Lebanese civil defence announced that it recovered the bodies of four people who had try to flee Lebanon to reach Cyprus. They were on a boat with about 50 people, according to some survivors who were lost for 7 days before being rescued on September 14, by the UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon), with 36 survivors onboard.  

Le Figaro: Liban : les corps de quatre migrants clandestins repêchés en mer [Lebanon: the bodies of four illegal migrants rescued from the sea

Asia News: Fleeing by the sea: mother throws her dead son into the water during crossing 




Today, the European Union imposed sanctions on two persons responsible for human rights abuses in Libya and on three companies — one Turkish, one Kazakh and one Jordanian — for breaching the UN arms embargo on Libya. According to the decision, one of the two persons, Moussa Diab, “is responsible for and has directly engaged in serious human rights abuses including human trafficking and the kidnapping, raping and killing of migrants and refugees. He held migrants and refugees in captivity in an illegal detention camp near Bani Walid, where they were treated in an inhuman and degrading manner. Several migrants and refugees were killed when they tried to escape from the detention camp.” 

ArabNews (AFP dispatch): EU sanctions three firms for breaking Libya arms embargo 

European Council: Libya: EU imposes additional sanctions for human rights abuses and arms embargo violations 

The death toll due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Libya recently rose to 450. In a statement, Libya’s National Center for Disease Control said 16 people had died from COVID-19, while 847 people tested positive over the past 24 hours. Libya now counts 28,796 confirmed cases. 

Anadolu Agency: Pandemic claims more lives in Libya, Tunisia 


Press Review 


NBC News: 'A crisis of humanity' as migrants take on treacherous journey from France to Britain 

Euronews: New EU Migration Pact requires member states to take more migrants from frontline nations  

The Guardian: About a quarter of the UK's top earners are migrants, data shows 

Deutsche Welle: Thousands march in Berlin to demand Germany take in Moria refugees 

Libération (CheckNews): Un bateau de migrants a-t-il été escorté par la marine française avant d’être abandonné dans les eaux anglaises ? [Was a migrant boat escorted by the French navy before being abandoned in English waters?


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 

A shipwreck occurred 25 nautical miles west of the southern tip of Sardinia yesterday morning. The boat carrying 14 people was first sighted by Maltese-flagged merchant vessel Med Batic, which alerted the Coast Guard and rescued 7 people. 6 more people were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard. The search for one missing person is still ongoing today. All vessels in the area were alerted. Two autonomous landings of boats carrying people of Algerian nationality were reported on Sardinia. 

L’Unione SardaNaufragio nel mare del Sulcis: i migranti a Portoscuso. Nessuna traccia del disperso 

L’Unione SardaNuovo doppio arrivo di migranti nel Sulcis 

ANSAMigranti: riprese ricerche disperso in naufragio sud Sardegna 

After another night anchored off Palermo, 48 survivors jumped from the Open Arms this morning. They were recovered by the Italian Coast Guard with assistance by the Sea Watch 4, and transferred to the GNV Azzurra ferry. This afternoon, the approximately 140 remaining survivors were also transferred from the Open Arms to the ferry to undergo a 14-day quarantine. 

Mediterraneo CronacaGrandi manovre a Palermo, gente in mare, navi in porto e Ong pronte per ispezione e fermo amministrativo 

  The Sea Watch 4 was requested to enter the port of Palermo today. 

According to Algerian news agency APS, a shipwreck occurred off the Algerian coast on Thursday. Four bodies were retrieved and five survivors rescued by the Algerian Coast Guard 90 kilometers east of Mostaganem, Algeria. According to AFP, the Algerian Coast Guard continued to search for survivors as the total number of people on the boat was unclear. 

InfoMigrantsAt least 4 dead in shipwreck off Algeria 

According to Corriere della Sera, details of the EU Pact on Migration that will be unveiled on September 23rd have emerged. Solidarity with coastal and border states will reportedly not come in the form of increased relocation, as states like Italy wish, but only through financial and management support. 

Corriere della SeraNuovo patto Ue sui migranti: a rischio i ricollocamenti chiesti da Roma 

Approximately 25 people, among them women and children, have reached the Italian coast in Baia dei Campi, north of Bari, in an autonomous landing this morning. It is as of yet unclear where they came from. 

Foggia TodayMigranti sbarcano sulle coste di Vieste: circa 16 quelli rintracciati in località Baia dei Campi, ci sono bimbi piccoli 

In the coming weeks, French frigate Latouche-Tréville will be deployed to join EUNAVFOR MED Operation Irini off the Libyan coast in the Central Mediterranean. 

Ouest FranceLa France va engager une nouvelle frégate dans l’opération européenne Irini en Libye 



Khalifa Haftar, head of self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), said today that his forces would lift the blockade on oil production in the country under the condition that fair distribution of the revenues would be ensured. However, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) has announced that they would not resume production until oil facilities would be demilitarized and LNA and foreign forces withdrawn. 

France 24Libya's Haftar agrees to lift oil blockade with conditions 


Press Review 


BloombergWorst Shipping Crisis in Decades Puts Lives and Trade at Risk 

RFILe Liban, nouvelle terre de départ pour les migrants [Lebanon, a new land of departure for migrants] 

Le MondeEn Libye, l’émergence d’une société civile protestataire rebat les cartes politiques [In Libya, the emergence of a protesting civil society is reshuffling the political cards] 

France CultureMigrants : la désobéissance sauvera-t-elle le monde ? [Migrants: will disobedience save the world?] 

VitaSe l'Europa dice ai mercantili nel Mediterraneo, “voltatevi dall'altra parte” [If Europe says to merchants in the Mediterranean, "look the other way".] 


SAR/Political Context in the Mediterranean 


75 people rescued by Open Arms jumped overboard in an attempt to swim to the shore today. The Italian Coast Guard and the Sea Watch 4, anchored close by, launched RHIBs to support the Open Arms crew. The Italian Coast Guard recovered those who jumped. The Open Arms is anchored off Palermo in Italian territorial waters without having received instructions for the disembarkation of the rescued people for the now remaining 188 survivors (all figures to be confirmed). According to Mediterraneo Cronaca, 10 rescued people already jumped overboard and were recovered when the Open Arms sought shelter off Porto Empedocle on Tuesday. 

AvvenireOpen Arms in attesa davanti al porto di Palermo. 76 si gettano in mare [Open Arms waiting in front of the port of Palermo. 76 throw themselves into the sea] 

Mediterraneo cronacaOpen Arms, 76 in mare. Adesso chi criminalizza chi? [Open Arms, 76 at sea. Now who is criminalizing who?] 

Contrary to what was reported by MSF Canada, the Sea Watch 4 did not undergo a Port State Control yesterday and their tweet was deleted. 

In a meeting with European Council President Charles Michel held yesterday, Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela said Malta was not interested in receiving more EU funds to accommodate more migrants, but insisted instead on “burden-sharing” between EU Member States. Abela criticized the lack of a “holistic policy” on the matter of migration in Europe and said that Libya had been more helpful to Malta on the topic than the EU. According to Charles Michel, the priorities for cooperation of EU States are “resources for border control, cooperation with transit and source countries, and ultimately better asylum mechanisms”. 

Times of MaltaMigration, Libya among topics discussed during European Council president visit 

Times of MaltaMalta does not want more EU funds to hold more migrants - Abela 

223 people of Algerian nationality on 15 different boats were rescued off the coast of the Spanish region of Murcia yesterday. The regional government has asked the central government of Spain for support in what they called “a migratory and humanitarian crisis” and “a public health problem”. As of early this afternoon, another 45 people were rescued off the coast of Almería, Spain, among them a woman in the late stages of her pregnancy. 

EuropapressInterceptadas 15 pateras con 223 inmigrantes a bordo este miércoles en el litoral de la Región [15 boats intercepted with 223 immigrants on board this Wednesday on the coast of the region] 

EuropapressLa Comunidad insta al Gobierno central a que "asuma sus competencias" ante la "llegada incontrolada" de pateras [The Community urges the central government to "assume its responsibilities" in the face of the "uncontrolled arrival" of boats] 

EuropapressRescatadas 45 personas, entre ellas una embarazada, de cuatro pateras en aguas de Almería [45 people rescued, including a pregnant woman, from four boats in the waters of Almería] 

Many of the people who were left homeless after the fire last week in Moria camp on Lesvos, Greece, were moved to a new camp on the island by the Greek police today. The new Kara Tepe camp was set up on a former military firing range. 

Al JazeeraPolice move refugees to new Lesbos camp after Moria fire 

According to the UNHCR, at least six cases of push-backs at sea by the Cyprus Port & Marine Police were reported this month. In some cases, the government invoked the COVID-19 pandemic to refuse people’s rights to apply for asylum by intercepting boats at sea and turning them back to Lebanon, where they departed from. The European Court of Human Rights submitted questions to the Republic of Cyprus a week ago to find out whether the people on board the intercepted vessels had requested to enter ports, whether they were offered alternative ways to apply for asylum, and what the government knows about their whereabouts. 

InfoMigrantsRefugee pushbacks by Cyprus draw attention from EU, UN 

Greek frigate Limnos has been deployed in support of Operation EUNAVFOR MED Irini in the Central Mediterranean. The Limnos is the Greek navy vessel that reportedly rammed a Turkish frigate in the Eastern Mediterranean in August. 




Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tripoli, has announced his intention to step down before the end of October as the country moves closer to finding a political solution to the conflict. According to al-Sarraj, UN-brokered talks between Libya’s rivalling factions have led to “a new preparatory phase” for the unification of Libyan institutions and preparations for parliamentary and presidential elections. 

Al JazeeraHead of Libya's GNA says he wants to quit by end of October 


Press Review 


IOMMigration in West and North Africa and across the Mediterranean 

 The New HumanitarianDon’t blame refugees for the Moria fires, blame EU policy 

Ouest FranceEn Grèce, le désespoir infini des naufragés de Lesbos [The infinite despair of the shipwrecked people in Lesvos] 

RNDKreuzfahrtschiffe für Moria-Flüchtlinge? “Ein Schiff ist besser als der Straßenrand” [Cruise ships for Moria refugees? "A ship is better than the roadside"] 

CNNMasked men, assault and abandonment [CNN Documentary filmed on board a Turkish Coast Guard vessel rescuing a group of people that was allegedly pushed back and left adrift on a life raft by the Greek Coast Guard] 

ARTESeenotrettung: Moonbird bleibt am Boden / Sea Watch : défense de secourir  


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean  

According to Open Arms, yesterday, several survivors jumped overboard  and were recovered with the support of Italian coastguard following Malta’s refusal to provide shelter from bad weather. Three survivors, –two pregnant women and the husband of one of them–, were also medically evacuated yesterday evening with the Italian coastguard. The Open Arms is currently off Palermo, waiting for further instructionsthe organization reported 

According to MSF Canada, the Sea-Watch 4 is undergoing a Port State control off Italy. 

In her first State of the Union Address today, Ursula von der Leyen spoke of the new Pact on Migration to be unveiled next week (September, 23) describing it as a pact which will take a human and humane approach”, adding that “saving lives at sea is not optional and those countries who fulfill their legal and moral duties or are more exposed than others, must be able to rely on the solidarity of our whole EU.”  Regarding the European asylum system, the President of the European Commission announced that the EU will abolish the Dublin regulation and will replace it with a new European migration governance system that will have common structures on asylum and return, and a new strong solidarity mechanism” 
France 24: Dublin rule for asylum seekers to be replaced, EU’s von der Leyen says 

Le Monde: Immigration : la Commission européenne veut « abolir le règlement de Dublin », annonce sa présidente 

In an Op-Ed, the Chair of the Lloyd’s List Editorial Board Janet Porter called for an “immediate solution” to be found to cover the Mediterranean. She argued that maritime “industry leaders must keep up the pressure for some clear guidelines that will ensure ships and seafarers do not become political hostages as governments argue about who should take responsibility for those who have been rescued. 

 According to Sergio Scandura, 95 survivors arrived in Trapani, aboard the Italian supply vessel Asso VentinoveThey would reportedly be transferred on board the GNV ferry ship Aurelia, one of the 5 quarantine ships chartered by Italian authorities.  

A sixth person has been arrested by the Greek police in the ongoing investigation of the Moria camp fire. All of them are migrants according to the Greek government, and two of the them are minors “who were flown out of Lesbos following the fire and had been due to be transferred to other European Union states” according to a Greek media citing police sources.  

InfomigrantsSix migrants arrested over Moria fire 



Yesterday the UN Security Council renewed UNSMIL’s mandate in Libya for another yearThe resolution 2542 (2020) has been adopted by a vote of 13 in favour to 0 against, with 2 abstentions (China and the Russian Federation).  

The United Nations Security Council also asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special envoy to broker peace in LibyaInstead of solely replacing Ghassan Salamé, who headed the UN political mission until his resignation last March, according to Al Jazeera, the Security Council also agreed yesterday to split this role in two: having one person run the UN mission and a special envoy to focus on mediation. 

Libya Herald: UN Security Council renews UNSMIL mandate for another 12 months, new UNSMIL head and coordinator to be appointed immediately 
Al Jazeera: UN chief to appoint special envoy to mediate Libya conflict 

Press review 

InfomigrantsWorld Risk Report: Migrants more vulnerable due to COVID-19 

Sea Watch: Airborne Monthly Factsheet August 2020 

The Guardian: Brutality against migrants has become normal on the EU’s lawless borders 

Euronews: Germany to take in 1,500 migrants from Greek islands after Lesbos fire  


SAR/Political context in the Mediterranean 


The Mare Jonio obtained "free practice" today, without having to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Mediterranea announced that the ship would be ready to go back to the Central Mediterranean as soon as the weather and sea conditions allow. 

Despite deteriorating weather conditions, Malta reportedly denied shelter to the Open ArmsIt’s been seven days today that the ship has been awaiting a Place of Safety for 278 survivors.  

According to the IOM-Libya’s latest maritime update, between the 8 and 14 September, “454 migrants were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya”.  

According to the IOM, over 20 migrants are reportedly missing at sea, following a shipwreck off the coast of Libya last night. Two bodies were retrievedaccording to UNHCR Libya45 survivors were returned to shore by the Libyan Coast Guard, along with survivors of two other boats intercepted. UN Migration spokesperson Safa Msehli denounced “restrictions on NGOs and long, unnecessary stand-offs" as “this new tragedy signals yet again the need for increased search and rescue capacity in the Mediterranean.  

Associated Press: U.N.: Boat capsizes near Libya; 24 migrants presumed dead 

Following the destructive fire in Moria camp on Lesbos, Greece, Ursula von der Leyen announced yesterday that the European Commission will present next week, 23 September, the pact on migration and asylum. Angela Merkel and the European Commission are reportedly ready to support the construction of a new reception center for refugees in Lesbos, a project that