PES denounces Weber for trivialising asylum seekers’ deaths at Tunisia-Libya border

PES denounces Weber for trivialising asylum seekers’ deaths at Tunisia-Libya border

Archive photo: a migrant picks through discarded blankets in a sprawling camp inside Tunisia. Image: EPA/JIM HOLLANDER

Callous comments today by the leader of the Christian Democrats is yet another sign that the EPP is mirroring a dangerous far-right approach on asylum and migration.

The EU must always work for the humane management of migration, working with partner countries that guarantee conditions and procedures that are fair and fully respect human rights. The PES has been fighting for a progressive policy on asylum and migration, based on true solidarity and shared responsibility, fair and effective procedures, humane reception conditions, partnerships on equal footing with third countries, legal pathways, and effective inclusion. We approach migration policy responsibly, respecting the objectives of solidarity, shared responsibility and security, as shown by the work of Commissioner Johansson during her mandate.

PES Executive Secretary General Giacomo Filibeck said:

“No sensible European politician should ever dehumanise asylum seekers or migrants. The reports of migrant deaths at the Tunisia-Libya border are very concerning. The humane treatment of people is a fundamental European value. We must never compromise on human rights. To hear these reports callously dismissed by Christian Democrats is shocking and a departure from the fundamental values of the EU.”

In an interview published this morning by Politico’s Playbook, EPP leader Manfred Weber dismissed evidence of migrant mistreatment by Tunisian authorities as “some videos from the desert or something” and criticised people concerned about the reports as “moralizers”. Weber was commenting on reports that migrants from sub-Saharan Africa had been transported on buses to the border with Libya, with little access to food, water or shelter from the sun. At least 27 people who were forcibly transferred died, according to Libyan authorities.