Shipwrecks in the Mediterranean. A complaint filed against the EU at the International Criminal Court

(B2) Two international lawyers seized the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday (June 3) accusing the European Union and its member states of crimes against humanity in connection with the deaths of more than 12.000 migrants in the Mediterranean since 2014

Inflatable migrant and refugee boat seen from the sinking Colibri (credit: Sea Watch)

The 245-page complaint was filed with prosecutor Fatou Bensouda's office. The lawyers, Omer Shatz and Juan Branco, claim to prove that " EU leaders have shown willingness to sacrifice individuals voluntarily, to create a chilling effect that would serve their political purposes ».

Among the arguments, internal notes, in particular from a German official who " sent confidential cable to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, describing Libyan private prisons as concentration camp-like conditions, three days before the EU Council of Ministers decides to equip and train the Libyan Coast Guard (Malta Declaration) “says Omer Shatz. " It is the fruit of two years of investigation, which led us to consider that crimes against humanity had been consciously planned and carried out by our European leaders. adds Juan Branco.

On the side of the European Commission, we refutes any involvement of the European Union in the shipwrecks. « Saving lives is our priority” says Natasha Bertaud, the European Commission's coordinating spokesperson for migration and internal security issues. " The record of the European Union speaks for itself. […] Four EU operations in the Mediterranean have helped save nearly 730 people since 000 (2015). If she recalls that the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, had recognized in 2015 that “ finishing Mare Nostrum was a mistake”, she adds that “ this has been corrected » and above all calls into question the 'real leaders': « Cis the cruel and dangerous business model of human smugglers and traffickers which is the cause of these deaths at sea.

(LH with NGV and HCF)

  1. Operations Poseidon (Eastern Mediterranean), Triton and Themis (Central Mediterranean) of the Frontex agency and the EUNAVFOR Med operation carried out under the aegis of the CSDP.

Download the complaint

Read also: Operation Themis. Does the Frontex agency act without democratic control?

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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