Libyan authorities remove irregular migrants from ship

TRIPOLI: The Libyan Navy on Wednesday announced it had forcibly evacuated a vessel anchored in the western Port of Misurata that had been carrying scores of irregular migrants.
“Security personnel on Tuesday boarded the ship and forcibly evacuated all migrants aboard,” naval spokesman Ayoub Qasim told Anadolu Agency.
According to Qasim, the move was taken “after all peaceful means [of clearing the vessel] were exhausted”.
“We tried to persuade them to disembark, but this failed,” he said. “So we told them they would be removed by force, which is what happened.”
Since Nov. 9, the migrants — who hail from various African countries — had refused to disembark from the vessel, which was taken to the Port of Misurata after having been rescued from rough seas.
Qasim put the total number of migrants at “more than 80”, going on to deny reports that the vessel was Turkish in origin.
“International organizations that exploit human rights issues are distorting the facts of the issue,” he said.
“The migrants appear to think they are above the law, despite having entered the country illegally,” he added.–AA

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