1,100 migrants blocked in sea ​​and Italy closes their ports

On Saturday, two rescue boats for migrants operated by two German organizations carrying around 300 rescued people were in waiting off the east coast of Sicily.

The chaos and uncertainty stemmed from the decision by the far-right Italian government last Friday to close its ports to humanitarian rescue vessels.

Some 1,100 migrants were rescued aboard four ships operated by European charities and are now stranded in the Mediterranean, some for nearly two weeks. in amid the deterioration of conditions on board.

The Rise-Apaff and Humanity 1 ships, operated by two German humanitarian organizations, are in Italian waters. The Humanity 1 ship, which carries 179 migrants, has obtained permission to disembark minors and in need of medical care. But the Rise Abaf has not yet received an answer to his request to enter the port, carrying 93 people who were rescued.

As of Saturday night, Humanity 1 had not received any direct communication from the Italian authorities in about the disembarkation of the remaining passengers on the ship, spokesman Wasssel Schuessel said.

Challenging Italy’s distinction between “vulnerable” migrants and others, the ship’s organization claimed that all were saved. in sea, which gives them the right to enter in a safe harbor, according to international law.

Abubakar Somahoro, the only Afro-Italian legislator at the camera low of parliament, said he would join migrants on the ship if the government of Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni did not take a step to help all those stranded in sea.

On Friday, the Minister of the Interior Matteo Piantidosi declared that the Humanity 1 ship will only be able to enter Italian waters for a short period sufficient to disembark minors and those in need of urgent medical care.

This statement was released after Germany and France asked Italy to give migrants a safe haven and indicated that they would receive some migrants, in so that Italy would not have borne the burden alone.

No tale permit was issued for the other three ships.

The Italian government insists that countries whose flags are flown by charity ships welcome migrants.

In a press conference at the end of Friday, Piantedosi described these ships as “islands” under the jurisdiction of the flag state.

Infrastructure Minister Matteo Salvini, known for his anti-immigration stances, welcomed the government’s move and said in a video clip: “Let’s stop being hostages of these foreign non-governmental organizations, which regulate policies on roads, traffic, transport and immigration”. repeating his claim that the presence of rescue ships encourages traffickers.

NGOs reject this interpretation, stating that they are obliged under the law of the sea to rescue those at risk and that coastal states are obliged to provide safe harbor.

“The decision of the Italian Interior Minister is undoubtedly against the law – said Mirka Schaefer of Humanity SOS – Stopping refugees at the Italian border violates the Geneva Convention on refugees and international law”.

Most migrants from Libya board unseaworthy boats in search of a better life in Europe, often being abused by human traffickers along the way.

Thousands of migrants have already arrived on Italian coasts last week, alone on fishing boats or rescued by the Italian authorities. Today, Saturday, they arrived in Augusta in 147, of which 59 aboard the oil tanker Zagara, which was carrying two corpses.

The situation aboard the Rise Abaf is extremely miserable, with 93 migrants crammed into it in a boat of 25 meters.

The head of the rescue team aboard the ship, Clemens Ledva, asked to enter in a safe harbor as soon as possible, citing bad weather and the limited capacity of the small ship.

“This is not a desire. This is everyone’s right,” he said Friday night.

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