Doctors Without Borders reports that Eritrean refugees are dying en route to Europe

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Rubén Escobar (
  • Eritrean women. Photo: Wikimedia
    Eritrean women. Photo: Wikimedia.
  • Eritrea, location on a map. Image: Wikipedia
    Eritrea, location on a map. Image: Wikipedia.
  • Doctors without Borders Logo. Image: MSF
    Doctors without Borders Logo. Image: MSF.

The humanitarian organisation has claimed that the EU collaborates with the government of Eritrea and other countries to stop them from reaching Europe.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has launched a report called "Dying to Reach Europe: Eritreans in search of safety" where they denounce that thousands of people trying to flee Eritrea are suffering “from inhumane, violent and deadly treatment”. The reason why this is taking place is because the European Union is increasingly collaborating with governments of Eritrea, Libya, Sudan and Ethiopia to stop refugees from reaching European shores, according to what the international organisation has presented in its report.

This report is based on the testimonies of more than 100 Eritrean refugees rescued by MSF from overcrowded boats in the central Mediterranean. The report reveals three key aspects that have pushed Doctors Without Borders to report violence and injustice they are currently suffering:

  • Eritreans have reported being a direct victim or a witness to violence, such as torture, at various locations throughout their journey.
  • Eritreans have reported being held in captivity of some kind, while more than half interviewed saw fellow refugees dying.
  • Eritreans women reported that they experienced some kind of sexual violence.

Many Eritreans have legitimate claims to asylum. Nevertheless, Arjan Hehenkamp who is MSF general director states that “European governments are doing all they can to prevent them and others seeking asylum from reaching European shores’’. This policy that MSF is bringing forward shows that people has no choice but to pay Mafia in dangerous and deadly journey through checkpoints and prisons to cross the Mediterranean sea.

In Ethiopia, Libya and on search and rescue vessels in the Mediterranean Sea MSF volunteers are giving medical treatment to look after health issues such as scarring, wounds and severe psychological illnesses.

Therefore, MSF calls on those countries, Sudan and also European governments to stop returning Eritreans to their country or to third countries from which they might be sent back to Eritrea. “We call on the European Union and its member sates to stop brokering migration agreements that do not offer adequate protection to Eritreans and other refugees and asylum seekers”, stated in its website.

If you want to read the whole report, you can go to the following site.  

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