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We must put an end to the return of migrants to unsafe countries: Pope

Migrants from Libya

Hamza Turkia / NurPhoto

(150606) -- TRIPOLI, June 6 () -- A batch of illegal immigrants sit on a boat of the Libyan coast guard near Garabulli, Libya on June 6, 2015. The Libyan coast guard intercepted dozens of sub-Saharan nationals trying to stow away to Europe from Libyan coast. (/Hamza Turkia)

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 10/24/21

I hear your cries and I pray for you, says Pope Francis in appeal for migrants of Libya.

Pope Francis expressed his closeness to people in Libya after he prayed the midday Angelus on October 24.

“I express my closeness to the thousands of migrants, refugees and others in need of protection in Libya: I never forget you; I hear your cries and I pray for you,” he said.

The Pope decried that “So many of these men, women and children are subjected to inhuman violence.”

Libya is a dominant transit point for migrants who are trying to flee conditions in Africa and make it to Europe. But Libya’s own ongoing problems mean that migrants who don’t make it out of Libya face tremendous abuse. Some 5,000 people were detained earlier this month in a major crack-down.

Earlier this month, UN-commissioned investigators said they had evidence of possible crimes against humanity and war crimes in Libya.

The Holy Father was insistent in his appeal:

Once again, I call on the international community to keep its promises to seek common, concrete and lasting solutions for the management of migratory flows in Libya and throughout the Mediterranean. And how those who are turned away suffer! There are real lagers there.

“We must put an end to the return of migrants to unsafe countries and give priority to saving lives at sea, with rescue devices and predictable disembarkation, guaranteeing them decent living conditions, alternatives to detention, regular migration routes and access to asylum procedures,” the Pope continued. “Let us be aware of our responsibility for these brothers and sisters of ours, who have been victims of this very serious situation for too many years. Let us pray together for them in silence.”

Tags:
ImmigrationPope Francis
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