The European Union (EU) defended on Tuesday its record of helping to relieve the suffering of immigrants in Libya, after UN-backed investigators accused the EU of abetting human rights abuses and other crimes in the country.
Speaking at a news conference in Brussels European Commission Spokesperson Peter Stano said they were actively trying to solve the “very difficult situation on the ground” as well as looking into the concerns that were raised.
“Covering the needs of the people who are in Libya, both the migrants, but also the host communities which are affected by this. So this is where the money goes. So I don’t agree with the claims that our money is going to finance the business model of the smugglers or of those who are misusing and mistreating people in Libya, quite to the contrary. Most of the money goes in order to take care of these very people.” Stano added.
Presenting a report on Monday by a UN-commissioned fact-finding mission to Libya, investigator Chaloka Beyani said that EU assistance to the Libyan authorities, migration department and the coastguard “has aided and abetted the commission of the crimes,” including crimes against humanity.
The report said that immigrants, some of whom might have been eligible for asylum, “were apprehended, detained, and disembarked in Libya solely to prevent their entry into Europe as a corollary of both European immigration policy and the economic agenda of migration in Libya via their subsequent detention and exploitation.”