Italy in addition to Malta Block Another Rescue Ship Carrying Migrants
For the second time which month, the authorities in Italy in addition to Malta are refusing to allow a rescue ship with hundreds of migrants aboard to dock in their ports.
The rescue vessel, the MV Lifeline, run by the German charity Mission Lifeline, has been unable to offload 234 people sheltering onboard since they were rescued through two rubber dinghies from the Mediterranean on Thursday.
A cargo vessel, the Alexander Maersk, was also waiting on Sunday for clearance to dock in an Italian port with 110 rescued migrants onboard. While on a merchant mission on Thursday, the ship came to the assistance of a boat in distress 5 miles off the coast of Pozzallo, Italy.
“They possess the right to live,” Axel Steier, a Mission Lifeline founder, said of the migrants. “in addition to they have a right to seek asylum, in addition to which isn’t being guaranteed at the moment. which’s kind of like you are jailed on the ocean.”
The episode will be the latest to highlight divisions from the Europe Union which have left the bloc without a comprehensive migration policy as countries on the frontline of the Mediterranean route bicker over who should be responsible for migrants.
Mr. Steier, who said the MV Lifeline was waiting off the western coast of Malta, described the rescue vessel as a “ball in a political game.” The migrants onboard, all of whom are through sub-Saharan Africa, had set off through Libya on two dinghies.
The group will be mostly made up of men, with 14 women in addition to at least four children among them, Mr. Steier said. He called the idea of transporting migrants back to Libya inhumane in addition to contrary to international human rights norms.
Describing migrants’ accounts relayed to worked on the ship, he said, “We have women who have been raped, in addition to also people who have been tortured.”
Italy’s completely new Indoor minister, Matteo Salvini, an outspoken opponent of immigration, has vowed which the ship might not be allowed to come to Italy. He also posted a video on his Facebook page on Thursday in which he called those onboard the MV Lifeline “human meat.”
He said the migrants had been rescued in Libyan waters in addition to therefore should be returned to Libya, an assertion which the staff of the MV Lifeline denies.
Mission Lifeline responded with its own Facebook post on Sunday. “Dear Matteo Salvini, we have no meat on board, although humans,” which read. “We cordially invite you to convince yourself which which will be people we have saved through drowning.”
The Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center — which coordinates sea rescues in addition to provides location details of distressed boats in Italian waters to charities in addition to merchant vessels from the Mediterranean — was involved in coordinating both of the rescues. although the Italian authorities might not let the ships dock, Mr. Steier said.
The Maltese authorities brought humanitarian supplies to the MV Lifeline on Saturday, although Malta also refused entry, saying which could not take responsibility for the ship.
Another migrant rescue ship, the Aquarius, found itself in a similar situation which month. which spent a week at sea after being refused entry to Italy in addition to Malta with hundreds of people aboard. Spain later accepted the ship, in addition to the migrants disembarked in Valencia.
Even as MV Lifeline in addition to Maersk Alexander waited to see where they could dock, various other rescues continued from the Mediterranean.
The charity Doctors Without Borders, which takes part in rescue efforts there, said the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center had alerted the group to seven boats at risk on Sunday with around 1,000 people onboard.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy, speaking ahead of the meeting, said improvements needed to be made to European policies requiring which refugees claim asylum from the first country they arrive in.
Because of Italy’s location from the Mediterranean, which will be responsible for the majority of completely new arrivals hoping to reach Europe through Libya in addition to claim asylum.