“The lack of political will to ensure rescue capacity has contributed to the deadliest accident at sea recorded in the Mediterranean since 2015,” says Duccio Staderini, MSF head of mission for Greece and the Balkans.
MSF teams providing medical and psychological care to the shipwreck survivors in Malakasa registration centre in Greece have expressed their grief and outrage about the loss of life.
“How many more times must we repeat this tragedy?” asks Staderini, “The hundreds of lives lost at sea on 14 June are a direct consequence of the EU’s ‘deterrent’ migration policies that force people to take deadly routes. Rather than granting safe passage to people on the move, these policies are killing people.”
The MSF team in Malakasa has provided medical assistance to 87 survivors suffering from burns and injuries from exposure to seawater and sun, hypoglycaemic shock from lack of food, as well as psychological and emotional distress from being exposed to the threat of imminent death, from not knowing if relatives and friends on board the vessel are alive or dead, and from their experiences in Libya.
“The survivors told our teams how they called for help, waited for hours and witnessed their friends drown,” says MSF Medical Coordinator, Elise Loyens, “They also told us about the horrors that they lived through in Libya: torture, beatings, being held in the desert for days and weeks without food or water. A young Syrian man said that he wanted to die every single day he was in Libya.”