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Intl NGOs urge France to suspend Libya boat delivery over migrant interception concerns

Eight international NGOs demanded on Thursday that France suspend delivery of boats to Libya’s coast guard over concerns they would be used to intercept migrants. The groups included Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders. French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly had in February agreed to donate six boats to the Libyan Navy, under which the coast guard operates. The move, she said, was aimed at helping them “in the fight against illegal immigration.” However, rights groups say the vessels would be used to block migrant boats attempting to reach Europe, forcing those on board to return to war-torn Libya. Their demand was laid out in a legal challenge that was filed at the administrative court in Paris on Thursday morning, AFP reported.