Italy shipwreck: Did boats ignore distress calls?

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Associated Press

Posted on October 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

PARIS (AP) — A Dutch lawmaker who has reported on migrant deaths on the Mediterranean is urging Italy to investigate claims that fishing boats and other vessels near a deadly shipwreck ignored a doomed boat's calls for help.

The Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly said Socialist Tineke Strik acknowledged some provisions of Italian law "effectively dissuade" boat captains from helping migrants in distress. She insisted no law should impede rescuing people whose lives are in danger.

The deaths of least 110 African migrants off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy, on Thursday have raised new questions about the European Union's immigration policy.

Strik reported last year on migrant deaths for the assembly, which brings together lawmakers at the council — Europe's leading human rights body — in Strasbourg, France.

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