Callous EU policies turns Med into vast cemetery - UN

2015-04-20 19:06
New High Commissioner of the United Nations for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein of Jordan, delivers his speech at the opening of the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council. (Fabrice Coffrini, AFP)

New High Commissioner of the United Nations for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein of Jordan, delivers his speech at the opening of the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council. (Fabrice Coffrini, AFP)

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Geneva, -The Mediterranean is turning into a "vast cemetery" amid soaring migrant deaths, the UN human rights chief said on Monday, as he strongly condemned "callous" EU migration policies.

With more than 700 people feared dead a day after a fishing boat crammed with migrants capsized off Libya, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said he was "horrified but not surprised by this latest tragedy".

"Europe is turning its back on some of the most vulnerable migrants in the world, and risk turning the Mediterranean into a vast cemetery," Zeid said.

"These deaths, and the hundreds of others that preceded them in recent months were sadly predictable," he said, blaming "a continuing failure of governance accompanied by a monumental failure of compassion."

Sunday's tragedy came after a week in which two other migrant shipwrecks left an estimated 450 people dead.

And on Monday, as EU ministers met in Luxembourg to discuss the crisis, another boat with more than 300 people onboard issued a distress call, warning it was sinking.

Zeid said EU governments must take a "more sophisticated, more courageous and less callous approach" and urged them to stop "pandering to xenophobic populist movements that have poisoned public opinion on this issue."

Read more on:    libya  |  migrants  |  north africa

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