Migrants calling us in distress from the Mediterranean returned to Libya by deadly ‘refoulement’ industry

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When they called us from the sea, the 106 precarious travellers referred to their boat as a white balloon.

  • Maurice Stierl
  • The Conversation

This balloon, or rubber dinghy, was meant to carry them all the way to safety in Europe.

The people on board – many men, about 20 women, and 12 children from central, west and north Africa – had left Khoms in Libya a day earlier, on the evening of January 19.

Though they survived the night at sea, many of passengers on the boat were unwell, seasick and freezing.

They decided to call for help and used their satellite phone at approximately 11am the next day.

They reached out to the…

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