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European leaders wash their hands of drowning refugees

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Issue 2610
The Italian government wouldn’t let the Aquarius dock
The Italian government wouldn’t let the Aquarius dock (Pic: Ministerio de Defensa/Flickr)

Italy’s racist interior minister Matteo Salvini told rescue ships to let refugees drown in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday.

He said refugees trying to make it to Europe were the responsibility of authorities in north Africa. “It’s right that the Libyan authorities intervene… without having the NGOs interrupt them and disturb them,” he tweeted.

And the leader of the racist League party called for a “mass cleansing” of migrants “street by street, quarter by quarter”.

Salvini’s latest threats come after Italy refused to let a refugee rescue ship dock last week.

Some European Union (EU) rulers kicked up a fuss because they don’t want to take in refugees themselves.

The EU’s “Fortress Europe” policy has turned the Mediterranean into a mass grave of refugees, many of whom are fleeing the West’s imperialist wars.

And those who manage to make it into Europe face destitution and police brutality.

Over 1,000 people are trapped at Britain’s border in Calais in northern France. Stand Up To Racism and Care for Calais organised to send a solidarity delegation of trade unionists and students there last weekend.

It’s important to build solidarity with refugees—and a movement that can force the Tories to open the border.

Murdered Iraqi refugee ‘could have been saved’

The brother of murdered refugee Kamil Ahmad has said his “life could have been saved if just one of the organisations involved had protected him from racism”.

Kamaran Ali’s statement came after Bristol Safeguarding Adults Board published a report last week that found Kamil’s death was avoidable.

Iraqi Kurdish refugee Kamil was murdered by Jeffrey Barry in Bristol on 7 July 2016.

The report singled out Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and Cygnet Healthcare for failing to put together a plan to protect Kamil.

Barry was released from mental health detention on 6 July 2016 after being sectioned for writing 34 notes threatening to kill Kamil and others.

Kamaran said, “This report confirms our worst fears that Kamil’s life could have been saved if just one of the organisations involved had protected him from the racism that ended his life.

“The space this leaves in our lives can never be filled, yet not one of the organisations involved has offered us an apology since we lost our wonderful brother, uncle, cousin and friend.

“We call on each of these organisations to apologise and to sit down with us to answer our questions”.

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