European policies and obstruction make it impossible to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance to people who risk drowning at sea to find safety
NEW YORK/MARSEILLE, DECEMBER 6, 2018—As refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers continue to die in the Mediterranean Sea, European policies and obstruction tactics have forced the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and its partner SOS Méditerranée to terminate the lifesaving operations carried out by the search and rescue vessel Aquarius, the last dedicated rescue boat operating in the Central Mediterranean.
“This is a dark day,” said Nelke Manders, MSF’s general director. “Not only has Europe failed to provide search and rescue capacity, it has also actively sabotaged others’ attempts to save lives. The end of Aquarius means more deaths at sea, and more needless deaths that will go unwitnessed.”