Saturday 25 February 2012

European court rules against Italy for expelling migrants

European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Thursday ruled that Italy had violated it human rights obligations when it deported a group of African migrants intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea to Libya in 2009. The decision delivered in Strasbourg by 17 judges of the court was described as a 'landmark' by the United Nation's Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and was also welcomed by several rights groups in Italy and elsewhere. Italy's International Cooperation Minister, Andrea Riccardi, said that the ruling would force Italy to 'think and rethink our policies towards migration.' The case concerned 24 Somalis and Eritreans who were in a group of 200 migrants intercepted by the Italian Coast Guard 35 nautical miles from the Italian island of Lampedusa.