Doctors Without Borders warned Thursday that migrants rescued at sea while attempting to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa should be allowed to seek asylum in Europe, rather than be returned to Libya where they face sexual violence, torture and forced labor. The humanitarian group’s president, Dr. Joanne Liu, said in an open letter Thursday that European Union authorities are “feeding a criminal system of abuse” by returning migrants to Libya.
Dr. Joanne Liu: “So today, we are making a public appeal, sending this open letter to governments in Europe, asking leaders to publicly position themselves on what is happening in Libya today. Are they OK with containing and sending people back to where they will be raped, tortured and enslaved?”
The warning by Doctors Without Borders came a day after the European Court of Justice struck down a legal challenge brought by Hungary and Slovakia over the EU’s mandatory refugee quota policy, which orders national governments to take in their fair share of asylum seekers.