Italian ship captain sentenced to one year in Jail for returning migrants to Libya

Giuseppe Sotgui, an Italian captain, was found guilty of breaching International laws that prohibit the forced return of people to countries where they are at risk. Giuseppe was found to have handed 101 migrants over to the Libyan coast guard after he rescued them in the Mediterranean Sea.

An Italian court gave him a one year jail term in the first of such cases heard in the country. The captain was in charge of an Italian flagged offshore vessel, the Asso 28, that was supplying oil platforms off the Libyan coast. The rescue operation took place on the 30th of July, 2018 with the migrant population also including five pregnant women and five minors.

The migrants were rescued on International waters from a dinghy that was not seaworthy and handed over to the Libyan coastguard at the port of Tripoli.

Ironically, Italy and the European Union have financed and trained the Libyan coastguard for the specific task of halting the flow of migrants from North Africa into Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.

The ruling has been hailed by several organizations including Doctors without Borders

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