The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

To forcefully return them to Libya | Militias pursue refugees inside the sea and sink their boats

According to a source in the Libyan Anti-Immigration Service, Libyan militias are pursuing the refugees to return them to Libyan land by trying to sink their boats in case they don’t obey them, where contact is lost with people seeking safe haven in European countries.

The illegal immigration is considered an important matter to the Libyan authorities, in addition to the deportation the refugees through Al-Musaed Port with Egypt.

Earlier today, SOHR activists confirmed the death of 23 Syrian refugees from Hafir Al-Foqa town in Rif Dimashq province, who drowned after the sinking of a migrant boat carrying 60 refugees, mostly from villages and towns in Rif Dimashq. The boat sank last week in the Mediterranean Sea, near the Libyan coastline, where refugees on that boat were attempting to sneak into Europe, seeking for a safe haven. Meanwhile, the fate of other refugees of those who were on the boat remains unknown.

Syrians are struggling with dreadful living conditions in Syria due to the protracted war and its unpleasant repercussions which badly impacted economy and living and social situations; this, in turn spurred many Syrians, especially young people, to risk their safety and lives by taking dangerous routes sneaking to neighbouring countries and Europe, dreaming to enjoy decent standards of living.

On July 14, SOHR sources reported that five Syrian refugees, including children and women, from Ain Al-Arab area (Kobani) in eastern Aleppo drowned near the Algerian coastline.

According to SOHR sources, a new migrant boat with nearly 11 people aboard sank in the Mediterranean sea, where communications with the boat were cut off shortly after having set off from the coast of the Algerian city of Oran on July 11, heading to Spain.

We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Right, call upon Libyan authorities to exert diligent efforts to disclose the fate of Syrian refugees who were on the boat, and appeal to all international powers to Syrian refugees in Libya.