Posted on February 21, 2024

Returning Sea Migrants to Libya Is Illegal, Italy’s Top Court Says

Reuters, February 18, 2024

Italy’s top appeals court has established that sending sea migrants back to Libya is unlawful, a ruling hailed by charities and human rights groups.

The Court of Cassation upheld the conviction of the captain of an Italian towboat, Asso 28, who in 2018 rescued 101 migrants from a rubber dinghy and returned them to Libya.


The ruling is final, upholding earlier decisions by two lower courts. {snip}

Italy and other European governments have taken an increasingly hard line on immigration in recent years, amid a swell in support for right-wing parties that want strict curbs on sea arrivals from North Africa. The Libya to Italy crossing is one of the most-used sea migration routes.

“Now there is also a judicial precedent that confirms what we have been saying for years: Libya is not a safe country”, the Mediterranea Saving Humans migrant rescue group said on X.