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Anderson writes to EU officials over attacks on refugee boats

30 September, 2016 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on senior EU officials to clarify the use of firearms against boats carrying refugees in the Mediterranean. 

Ms Anderson said; 

"Claims of repeated incidents where boats carrying refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean have been fired on by border security patrols are deeply concerning. 

"Unfortunately a number of refugees have already been killed in these incidents. 

"These are people who have fled conflict and persecution and face terrible abuses as they try to seek a new life and they should be protected, not subject to further attack. 

"The EU organisation, Frontex, and the European Border and Coast Guard are responsible for coordinating patrols and as a result the EU has questions to answer over these incidents. 

"I, along with other MEPs have written to senior EU officials including the executive director of the agency for the management of borders, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, and the EU Ombudsman condemning the use of firearms against individuals trying to reach safety in Europe. 

"Shooting at boats, even with the aim of preventing trafficking, is extremely dangerous and should not happen.

"We need to know exactly what guidelines and procedures are in place around such incidents and at all times the safety of individuals should be paramount."

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