EU urged to prevent destruction of Syrian chemicals in the sea off Crete

The head of the Hellenic League for Human Rights, Constantinos Tsitselikis, has written to the European Commission to ask for Brussels to take action to prevent the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons in the sea off Crete.

In his letter, which was also sent to EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Maria Damanaki, Tsitsilekis argued that under the 1976 Barcelona Convention, the EU had a duty to protect the Mediterranean Sea from potential pollution.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is overseeing the destruction of some 600 tons of chemicals including mustard gas and the raw materials for sarin nerve gas. They were loaded on the Cape Ray container ship at the Italian port of Gioia Tauro on July 2. The ship has systems that can carry out the process of hydrolysis, converting the chemicals into less dangerous substances.