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    Released 1100 GMT+1 (1200 CEST), 30 September 2014

     A year on from the Lampedusa shipwrecks, which claimed more than 500 lives, a new report by Amnesty International highlights how the shameful inaction of European Union (EU) countries has contributed to a spiralling death toll with thousands of refugees and migrants losing their lives in a desperate bid to reach European shores.

    Amnesty International’s report, Lives adrift: Refugees and migrants in peril in the central Mediterranean, details the findings of recent visits to Italy and Malta, including a research trip on an Italian Navy vessel. Interviews with survivors of shipwrecks, experts and authorities expose the reality of the dangers faced by those fleeing war, persecution and poverty, and the pitiful response of most European states.

    Israel’s new government must drop a proposed law that would lead to mass forced evictions of Bedouin people and instead pursue legislation to protect Bedouin housing rights, Amnesty International said, as the Ministerial Committee on Legislation is due to consider the proposal on Sunday.

    The draft “Law for Regularizing Bedouin Habitation in the Negev - 2012”, approved by the previous government, threatens at least 30,000 Bedouin in the country’s southern Negev/Naqab desert with forced eviction from their communities, which have never been officially recognized by the Israeli government.

    “Forcibly evicting tens of thousands of Bedouin from communities where they have lived for generations cannot be justified in the name of economic development or any other reason – Israel’s new leaders must have the courage to venture where previous governments have ignored human rights standards,” said Ann Harrison, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.


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