Monday, May 09, 2011

Humanitarian Intervention??

A boat carrying 72 passengers, including women and children, ran into trouble in late March after leaving Tripoli and making for the Italian island of Lampedusa. Despite alarms being raised with the Italian coastguard and the boat making contact with a military helicopter and a Nato warship (likely to have been the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle), no rescue effort was attempted.

All but 11 died from thirst and hunger after their vessel was left to drift in open waters for 16 days.

International maritime law compels all vessels, including military units, to answer distress calls from nearby boats and to offer help where possible.

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