Egyptian illegal migrants drown off the Libyan coast

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Eighteen Egyptian migrants as well as a Syrian drowned in the Mediterranean, near Libyan shores. The boat, which was carrying 23 irregular immigrants, 20 Egyptians and three Syrians, had an engine failure, causing it to capsize due to high waves.

The Libyan Coast Guard said that the authorities rescued three Egyptian and Syrian migrants and one body, while the remaining 19 were considered missing.

The Al-AbreenFoundation for Migrant Assistance in Libya said that this incident is not the first and will not be the last in light of the current conditions in Libya, explaining that migration traders tempt migrants by telling them that the beaches of Europe are only three hours away from the coast of the Libyan city of Tobruk. The International Organization for Migration said that at least 192 irregular migrants drowned in the Mediterranean in January and February of this year, while the Libyan authorities arrested more than 2,930 other migrants while trying to migrate to Europe, after which they were transferred to government detention centers rife with abuse and mistreatment.

Member of the Egyptian Parliament, Mostafa Bakri, called on the Egyptian government to take more measures to protect Egypt’s youth from risking their lives in this way. “Egyptian state institutions must look more deeply into the reasons why young people throw themselves into the Mediterranean,” Social Democratic Party MP Freddy El-Bayadi said. “Young people resort to such solutions when death on land is equal to death at sea, and the children and youth of Egypt who drown at sea are a national security issue, and combating illegal immigration is not only by toughening the punishment but by improving the quality of life.”