|Ocean Viking informs LYJRCC by email, with ITMRCC, MTJRCC in copy, that she cannot proceed to disembarkation in Al Khums (Libya) due to the fact that Libyan ports do not conform to the definition of Place Of Safety.|
We acknowledge receipt of your indication of Al Khums – Libya as POS to disembark the 109 survivors on board MV Ocean Viking
As you know, under the International Convention on maritime search and rescue to which Libya is a state party, a rescue is only considered as completed once rescued people have been disembarked in a place of safety (As define in the Annex to the 1979 SAR Convention, paragraph 1.3.2 and in the International Maritime Organization 2004 Rescue Guidelines)MV Ocean Viking
It is within this framework that the European Commission and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issued clear positions stating that currently Libya does not meet the criteria for being designated as a place of safety for the purpose of disembarkation following rescue at sea (https://www.refworld.org/docid/5b8d02314.html
I understand that among the survivors on board there are people, including women, children, unaccompanied minors and pregnant woman, who say that if returned to Libya, they would be in danger of being subjected to severe abuses.
In light of this clear guidance and international law provisions, we are not in a position to head towards a Libyan port, which cannot be considered as a place of safety for rescued people.
I respectfully request that, as the JRCC coordinating, you please provide with the indication of a Place of Safety which fulfils all requirements under all applicable international laws, where the survivors can be safely and promptly disembarked.
Please acknowledge receipt of this message.