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At Least 29 Migrants Drowned While Trying to Reach Europe as Gov’ts Make It Harder to Save Lives at Sea

HeadlineMar 27, 2023

Tunisia’s coast guard says it recovered the bodies of 10 migrants Sunday after their ship sank in the Mediterranean. The disaster came just hours after a human rights group said another 19 refugees from sub-Saharan Africa drowned off Tunisia’s coast as they tried to cross to Italy to seek asylum. At least 67 migrants were reportedly missing. This comes as Italy’s government says the number of migrants arriving at Italian ports has tripled in the first three months of 2023 — with more than 4,000 people disembarking in southern Italy over the weekend. On Saturday, a humanitarian aid ship rescued 78 migrants aboard a sinking rubber dinghy in international waters near Malta. One day earlier, the rescue ship Geo Barents, operated by Doctors Without Borders, rescued 190 migrants, including unaccompanied minors, off the coast of Italy. Virginia Mielgo González, a coordinator with the group, said a new set of rules passed by Italy’s far-right government last month has severely curtailed rescue efforts in the Mediterranean.

Virginia Mielgo González: “Our main concern would be being detained, so being, yeah, stopped from doing what we are doing. We are rescuing people in the Mediterranean Sea, which is something that it will still happen. The people will still use this route.”

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