French army to explain actions regarding death of 63 migrants in “left-to-die” boat

A French Court of Appeal has ordered the opening of a judicial enquiry into the actions of the French military, accused of failing to rescue migrants adrift at sea, 63 of whom subsequently died.
The migrants had fled war torn Libya by boat, at the height of the coalition’s military operations in the Mediterranean, in March 2011. Their boat got into difficulties and, despite repeated distress signals being relayed, drifted for 10 days in view of coalition forces. Survivors recall passing military vessels and planes, clearly aware of their plight.
FIDH and partner organizations working with the survivors and their families filed a complaint against the French military for failure of duty to rescue. Initially dismissed by the courts, the organizations then lodged an appeal against this decision. The Appeal Court has now annulled the dismissal and opened a judicial enquiry. The French army will have to justify its actions regarding the “left-to-die” tragedy, opening the door to a wider reflection and scrutiny of the EU’s migratory policies
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