12:15 GMT06 March 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has received a lawsuit filed by the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) against Italy for directing the Libyan coastguard in a November 2017 operation that led to migrants' mistreatment and deaths, ECHR press office told Sputnik on Friday.

    "Coming back to your request received by the ECHR Press Unit a few days ago, we confirm that the Court has today received the above-mentioned application. The application is currently pending and no further information is available at the moment," the ECHR press office said.

    The case is reportedly focused on the coastguard's attempts to prevent an NGO from rescuing migrants from a sinking boat. About 20 people died while the survivors were forced to return to Libya, where they were incarcerated and suffered violence.

    READ MORE: African Migrants in Yemen 'A Commodity' for People Smugglers — IOM

    Earlier in the week, media reported that the lawsuit had been filed on behalf of a group of survivors of the sea crossing when the Libyan coastguard forced thousands to return to Libya against their will.

    Italy and Libya signed a deal in 2017 to prevent refugees and migrants from traveling to Europe, where the Italian shores usually became their first port of entry. Italy has been struggling to accommodate the new arrivals.

    Many of the people who travel to Europe do not come from Libya itself but use it as a transit point from other African countries. Libya's capability for dealing with the influx of migrants have been seriously damaged by the ongoing civil.


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    migrant, European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Libya, Italy
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