UN blasts Salvini's new security package

Proposal includes fines for those who help migrants at sea

(ANSA) - Geneva, May 20 - The United Nations said Monday that its human rights experts have confirmed the criticism expressed in a letter sent to Italy over the government's proposal for a new decree on security.
    The aim of the legislation is to build on the security-and-migrantion decree that was approved last year and drafted by Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who has spearheaded the government's tough stance on stopping the arrival of asylum seekers. The UN said that the proposed decree would see NGO-run ships fined for every person rescued at sea and taken to Italian territory, with vessels that save migrants risking the loss of their licences.
    The UN experts said that if the decree is approved and comes into force, it would undermine the human rights of asylum seekers and the victims of torture.
    "The right to life and the principle of non-refoulement should always prevail over national legislation or other measures purportedly adopted in the name of national security," the experts said in a letter to the Italian Government. "We urge authorities to stop endangering the lives of migrants, including asylum seekers and victims of trafficking in persons, by invoking the fight against traffickers. "This approach is misleading and is not in line with both general international law and international human rights law.
    Instead, restrictive migration policies contribute to exacerbating migrants' vulnerabilities and only serve to increase trafficking in persons".