Italy arrests Libyan man over migrant slaying

2017-05-11 20:59
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Brussels -  The Latest on migration issues in Europe (all times local):

14:50 

A Libyan migrant smuggler has been arrested in Sicily for his alleged role in the slaying of a migrant who failed to remove his cap when ordered.

Prosecutors say that the suspect was one of two alleged Libyan traffickers jailed in Catania after the May 4 shooting, which occurred before an NGO boat rescued the migrants.

Catania police said the victim, from Sierra Leone, didn't understand the orders shouted in Arabic by the smugglers to stay seated and remove hats. Authorities alleged one of the Libyans was "involved" in the slaying but said the identity of the man who fired the gun was unknown.

Separately, three Nigerians were detained in Sicily in the alleged slaying, torture and sexual assault of other Africans in Libya while awaiting sea voyages to Italy.

13:20 

Serbian authorities say they have moved to asylum centers most of the migrants who were staying in parks and abandoned warehouses in downtown Belgrade.

The government's refugee agency says several hundred migrants have been transported by buses to asylum centers outside the capital. Aid workers at the scene say a few hundred have fled to avoid leaving the city.

Small bulldozers could be seen on Friday clearing up the now-empty warehouses by the Belgrade bus station that have become a symbol of the migrant plight.

Some  7 000 migrants remain stuck in Serbia as they seek ways to cross the heavily guarded borders of neighboring EU countries Hungary or Croatia.

12:45

Germany has launched a new website designed to help encourage migrants to return voluntarily to their home countries.

The website is part of the two-pronged strategy to dealing with the influx of more than 1 million asylum-seekers in the last two years.

Germany is trying to speed up the asylum process for those likely to be allowed to stay like Syrians fleeing war, and quickly return home those with little hope of asylum.

With deportations expensive and complicated, Germany has been encouraging volunteer returns with financial and other incentives.

But the Funke media group reports in the first quarter only 8 468 people returned home voluntarily, versus 13 848 over the same period last year.

The website provides information on counselling centers, programs and other aid to refugees upon their return.

11:45 

The European Union's statistical agency says that more than 63 000 children traveling without adult company applied for asylum last year, more than half of them Afghan and Syrian nationals.

Eurostat said on Thursday that 63 300 unaccompanied minors applied for international protection in the 28 EU nations plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

It said the number was a third down from last year but still five times higher than the annual average.

More than two thirds of the minors were males and aged 16 to 17. Almost 6 300 were under 14. Almost 60% of the applicants sought asylum in Germany.

Read more on:    germany  |  italy  |  libya  |  north africa

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