Published: Sun, July 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

NGO ship with migrants barred from docking in Italy

NGO ship with migrants barred from docking in Italy

Matteo Salvini, Italy's inside of minister, had vowed to block them.

By making an unauthorised port entry, Mediterranea followed in the footsteps of German charity Sea-Watch, which ignored Italian police orders and took 40 migrants to Lampedusa on June 29.

In a statement, the Maltese authorities said that "following contacts between the Maltese and the Italian governments", the migrants on board Alex will be transferred onto a Maltese Navy vessel and disembarked in Malta.

A migrant rescue boat docked at the port of Lampedusa on Saturday in defiance of a ban on entering Italian waters, the second NGO vessel to clash with Italian authorities in a week.

There is also another ship waiting for a safe port off the coast of Lampedusa.

Television images showed migrants sitting in rows on the bow of Mediterranea Saving Humans sailing boat wearing orange life jackets.

The group, which evacuated 13 passengers to the Italian Coast Guard on Friday due to medical conditions, cited "intolerable hygienic conditions on board", for its decision to head into port. It has requested Malta give it a safe port.

Sea-Eye's Marcel Ditt, who is on board the Alan Kurdi, told DW on Saturday that the boat's crew had rescued 65 migrants, many of them unaccompanied minors. But the group indicated that it would wait in worldwide waters, and not seek an immediate confrontation.

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When the Alan Kurdi launched it became once following the Alex to Lampedusa no subject the probability, it tweeted: "We're now not intimidated by a Minister of Interior nonetheless as an different head against the closest port of security".

Earlier, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer tweeted that Germany was ready to take in some of those rescued "as part of a European-solidarity solution".

"The irresponsibility of European countries obliged me to do what I did", Rackete said in a message to demonstrators, many of whom brandished life vests.

Seehofer, who himself has taken a restrictive line on migration, also urged his Italian counterpart to rethink his policy of closing the country's harbors to humanitarian groups' rescue ships.

Seehofer, who himself has taken a restrictive line on migration, already has said Germany would be prepared to take some migrants on board two ships now just outside Italian waters, one of them a German group's, if other European countries do. Italy has impounded the Sea-Watch 3 boat whose German captain was arrested for crashing through a naval blockade a week ago before a Sicilian judge on Tuesday ruled she should be released. The migrants remain on the island. Migrants on board were allowed to disembark on Sunday.

In an apparent reference to the court account for which freed Ms Rackete, he added: "In a excessive country, arrests and seizure... would be immediate: what's going to the judges attain this time?"

Only last week, scores of migrants held in a detention centre in Libya were killed after it was bombed.

Malta said Thursday that it will take the migrants in a deal with Italy to take an equal number already in Malta.

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