World Bulletin/News Desk
The recent tragedy near the Italian island of Lampedusa in which 300 refugees drowned has triggered a group of human rights NGOs to dispatch an open letter to the Croatian prime minister and president warning them of the EU's treatment of refugees from war-torn countries.
“Europe has four emergency vessels for these situations. Europe did not have any notion about what happened on the boat with the refugees that sink. The measures Europe has at its disposal are not helping people, but are preventing refugees from entering its territory,” President of the Citizen Council for Human Rights Zoran Pusic said.
About 20,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean while trying to escape to Europe over the last 20 years, Croatian NGOs claim.
Pusic also warned "radical right parties” are building their popularity by strengthening the fear of immigrants, especially those from northern Africa.
“Nobody thought about helping the people running away from these [dictatorial] regimes. To treat refugees as criminals should not be allowed from the ethical point of view. We have to find a way to change the EU's public attitude toward these people," Pusic said, suggesting the equal distribution of refugees among EU member countries.
The letter was dispatched before the European Council's meeting next month which will partially be dedicated to the issue of refugees in the Mediterranean area.Last Mod: 23 Ekim 2013, 16:36