Tuesday, 26 June 2018
The Taoiseach is right about one thing anyway: what is happening is terrible. The detention centres, torture, rape and violation of human rights in these camps and detention centres in Libya are unacceptable. The United Nations, Amnesty International and Médecins sans Frontières all say that the Taoiseach, his Government and the EU are colluding in torture, rape and gross abuse of human rights. The Taoiseach is obviously in denial.
I note he failed to give an assurance that Ireland will stop training and funding the Libyan coastguard and, through the coastguard, the Libyan Government, which is torturing migrants in these camps.
The Taoiseach is Minister for Defence and, as such, he is responsible for this area of operations. In a parliamentary reply recently I was told that 139 suspected people smugglers or traffickers had been apprehended under Operation Sophia and that 545 boats were taken from criminal organisations. Were any of these boats or smugglers handed back to the Libyan coastguard? More important, were any of the refugees or migrants on these boats handed over to the Libyan coastguard or any other Libyan ships to be sent back to detention centres in Libya?