Italian lawmakers want police on charity boats

Peace and Freedom

AFP

© AFP/File | Migrants disembark in the port of Messina, Sicily, following a rescue operation at sea on February 1, 2016

ROME (AFP) – 

An Italian parliamentary commission on Tuesday called for police to be deployed on or close to charity boats rescuing migrants in waters off Libya.

Nicola Latorre, chairman of the defence commission of the Senate, said the move would ensure investigations into people traffickers begin at sea, where “crucial evidence can be lost.”

He was speaking at the presentation of a report based on a series of hearings which have seen NGOs accused of encouraging the mass influx of migrants to Italy by providing a ‘taxi pick-up’ service for packed rickety boats that traffickers effectively only need to get out of Libyan territorial waters.

NGOs poured cold water on the idea of allowing police to travel with them.

“We have a humanitarian mandate and we want to…

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