(Rome) Italian authorities have invited the ship run by SOS Humanity, with 179 migrants on board, to go to the port of Catania, but the NGO fears that only vulnerable people will be allowed to disembark, against a backdrop of deadlock over the issue of migrant arrivals in the country now ruled by the far right.
the Humanity 1managed by the German charity, has been asked by the Italian authorities to go to this port in Sicily, its press officer told AFP.
“We are concerned that the authorities will only let us disembark for emergencies and children, possibly minors,” the ship’s press secretary, Petra Krischok, said in a statement, as no port was given to her. officially assigned to disembark rescued people.
Italy had said on Friday that vulnerable people would be allowed to disembark from the Humanity 1 for medical checks, after which the ship should “remove” the remaining migrants from Italian waters.
“We fear for the right to protection of people who have been rescued from distress at sea and who all need protection,” added Ms.me Krishok.
The German vessel is one of four aid boats currently seeking permission to bring rescued people to safety as conditions at sea deteriorate due to bad weather.
So far, he is the only one who has been ordered to enter the port.
Italy’s new far-right government, led by Giorgia Meloni and sworn in last month, has pledged to crack down on migrants fleeing by boat from North Africa to Europe.
On Saturday, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said the government would not backtrack on its humanitarian obligations, but that those who do not meet the requirements should be taken care of by the ship’s flag state. .
Humanity 1 and Rise Abovefrom the NGO Mission Lifeline, are sailing under the German flag, while theocean viking of SOS Méditerranée and the Geo Barents of Médecins sans Frontières are registered in Norway.
The four ships alone accommodate more than 1,000 people gathered in the Mediterranean.
Norway’s foreign ministry said on Thursday it took “no responsibility” for people rescued by Norwegian-flagged private vessels in the Mediterranean.
SOS Humanity spokeswoman Mirka Schafer said the Italian government’s decision was “undoubtedly illegal”.
“The survivors fled Libya, where they were exposed to human rights abuses such as torture. As refugees, they are clearly in a vulnerable state, with some visibly traumatised,” she added.
“We have a lot of babies on board, as well as women with children. It is urgent to assign us a port,” Hermione Poschmann, of the German association Mission Lifeline, which manages the rescue ship, told AFP. Rise Above.
The youngest of the 42 miners carried by the Rise Above are only seven and ten months old.
the Geo Barrentsfrom the NGO Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and currently carrying 572 rescued people, said on Saturday that he had also entered Italian territorial waters to seek refuge there “after requesting and receiving the green light from the authorities”.
“We have been waiting for more than ten days for a safe landing place”, underlined the head of the mission, Juan Matias Gil.