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Italy Fined For Sending Migrants Back To Libya

The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Italy to pay thousands of dollars to 24 Somali and Eritrean migrants who had fled Libya in 2009 heading for Italy.

Italian vessels picked up the migrants in the Mediterranean Sea and returned them to Libya in line with a bilateral agreement between the governments of then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Muammar Qaddafi.

The Strasbourg-based court ruled on February 23 that the migrants risked ill-treatment in Libya where it said such migrants were systematically detained.

They also risked being sent back to Somalia, where there was widespread insecurity, or Eritrea, where the court said they also risked being detained and tortured.

The court ordered Italy to pay 15,000 euros (nearly $20,000) to each of the 24 plaintiffs.

With AFP and AP reporting

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