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Italy Rescues 600 Migrants Off Libyan Coasts, 4 Women Found Dead

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ROME – Italian navy and coast guard vesselscarried out at least four rescue
operations in the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday,saving some 600 migrants off
the Libyan coasts.

Four women were found dead aboard an overcrowded inflatable boat during the
first of such operations, the navy said.

The craft was in difficulty about 50 km north of Libya, and was carrying another
112 people on board. The nationality of the four victims was not immediately
clear.

Italian navy vessel Fulgosi also rescued 109 and 120 people who were crammed
aboard a second inflatable boat and a wooden craft respectively in the waters of
the Canal of Sicily, between Libya and Italy.

Two Italian coast guard vessels provided help to a fourth craft with 256
migrants on board, the coast guard said.

Italy has been seeing a record wave of migrant boats crossing the Mediterranean
from African coasts, and especially from Libya, since the beginning of the
summer.

So far this year, over 111,300 migrants have arrived in Italy from Africa and
the Middle East, according to official statistics.

Some 4,400 people had been saved in a single day by Italian coast guard and
other European vessels on Aug 23, in what local media reported as one of the
biggest rescue operation ever performed by the European Union (EU) Triton rescue
mission.

Also on Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights based in Strasbourg
sentenced Italy over the deportation of three Tunisian migrants in 2011.

According to the panel of judges, the Italian authorities subjected the three
migrants to a degrading and inhuman treatment while they were held in several
detention centers before the expulsion.

Their detention was unlawful, since the three migrants had not been notified of
the reasons for their detention, and were therefore unable to challenge it, the
court said in the statement explaining its ruling.

The court also ruled their repatriation in Tunisia breached the European laws
because it was a “collective” measure: that means, Italy failed to consider each
case on an individual basis, with no regards to their personal situation.

The country was ordered to pay 10,000 euros (11,200 U.S. dollars) to each of the
migrants in damages, plus some 9,300 euros (about 10,000 U.S. dollars), jointly,
in costs. — BERNAMA-NNN-XINHUA

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