Amnesty condemns UK opt out of search and rescue for refugees and migrants

“When the hour came, the UK turned its back on despairing people and left them to drown.”

Responding to news that the UK will not support any future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants and refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, claiming they simply encourage more people to attempt the crossing, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“This is a very dark day for the moral standing of the UK.

“The Italian navy’s desperately needed search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean has saved thousands of lives and other European countries should now be stepping up to share that responsibility with them, not shirk it.

“The vague prospect of rescue has never been the incentive. War, poverty and persecution are what make desperate people take terrible risks.

“History will judge this decision as unforgiveable. When the hour came, the UK turned its back on despairing people and left them to drown.”

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