Over 90 people have lost their lives in international water after leaving from Libya on an overcrowded boat many days ago.

The commercial tanker Alegria 1 rescued the only 4 survivors early this morning. We know from our initial contact with Alegria 1 that the survivors reported being at sea for at least four days on a boat with nearly 100 people on board.

After drifting at sea for days, witnessing their companions die and risking their lives, the 4 survivors most certainly need medical and psychological assistance. 

The tanker Alegria 1 that rescued them is now heading to Libya, ignoring not only MSF's offers of medical assistance, but also the call not to return these people to Libya, where they will almost certainly face detention, abuse, and ill treatment.

These people are in need of urgent protection and care. None of the survivors should be returned to a place where they face detention, abuse and ill treatment. Libya is not a place of safety.

We urge the Coordination centers of Rome and Malta to assume coordination of such an operation and assign a place of safety for the survivors before it is too late. 

We also urge Frontex and other EU agencies present in the area to reveal the details of this tragic event.

About MSF UK

This is the press room for MSF UK - the UK office of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

MSF UK's privacy notice is available here.

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