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Pope Francis: Migrant deaths at sea a 'shame'

July 9, 2023 at 1:31 pm

Pope Francis on June 07, 2023 [Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency]

Pope Francis said on Saturday that it was a “shame” that irregular migrants trying to reach Europe for a safe and better life were dying at sea, reports Anadolu Agency.

In a letter to the archbishopric of the Italian island of Lampedusa, Francis said tragedy had befallen migrants many times recently in the Mediterranean Sea.

“In these days when we are witnessing the repetition of serious tragedies in the Mediterranean, we are shaken by the silent massacres in front of which we still remain helpless and astonished,” said the letter, marking the 10th anniversary of the pontiff’s first visit to the island, a frequent destination for migrants using the Central Mediterranean route from North Africa.

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Francis also added that the deaths were “the shame of our society.”

“The perpetration of such inhuman disasters must absolutely shake consciences,” he added.

In the message, he called for solidarity with irregular migrants.

The pope had visited Lampedusa on July 8, 2013, after a large number of irregular migrants died as a result of their boat sinking.

According to data from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), more than 14,000 people have died or disappeared at sea while trying to cross from Libya and Tunisia to Italy since 2014.

Irregular migrants pushed back by Greece - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Irregular migrants pushed back – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]