The Humanity 1 ship of the NGO Sos Humanity is still docked at the Levante in Catania: it refuses to leave the port despite orders from the Italian authorities to leave. 145 migrants, considered by Italian authorities to be “vulnerable citizens”, have been disembarked, but 35 more are shipwrecked. Meanwhile, another ship, the Geo Parents, owned by Doctors Without Borders, carrying 572 migrants, was stopped in port to be searched by Italian authorities. As in the case of Humanity 1, the vessel has received authorization to dock so that damage to the vessel can be assessed.
Captain: I won’t leave port until everyone’s disembarked
“We have been ordered to leave the port of Catania in Sicily. Another 35 people aboard Our Humanity1 have been rescued in peril at sea and have been refused disembarkation by Italian authorities. The captain refused this request. The law of the sea compels him to take all those saved from torment to safety. Sos Humanity, a non-governmental organization, expressed the hard line decided by the Italian government. Last night, 145 people on board were allowed to disembark, those with critical health conditions, while the remaining 35 did not get the green light to disembark from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“It is my duty to rescue the people in danger and to land them all in the port of Catania to safety. I can’t leave the port until all those rescued from the emergency at sea disembark,” said Captain Joachim of Humanity 1, explaining that the NGO had to leave Catania after learning of the Italian authorities’ order. “Like those who have already disembarked – he continued – the survivors remaining on board are in emergency conditions: they fled Libya in inhumane conditions and have since endured more than two weeks at sea”. The 35 people still on board “have the right to seek asylum and the proper asylum procedure, which can only be done on land. Landing only some of the survivors and rejecting all outside national territorial seas is a form of collective reclamation and therefore illegal”.
Geo Parents has ordered a ban on parking in Italian waters
Two more NGO ships are off the coast of Etna. These were the German Rise Above, with 90 people on board, and the Norwegian Ocean Viking, with 234 migrants. Geo Barents, a Norwegian, entered the port of Catania, but could remain in Italian waters only for the time necessary for “rescue operations against the most vulnerable persons on board,” as established by the signed ban. By the Minister of Infrastructure, the Minister of Home Affairs and Defence. Of the 572 migrants on board – as Humanity 1 had – only those with critical health conditions requiring assistance will disembark in Catania.
Meanwhile, the Alarm Phone has launched an alert that a “refugee from Libya” with around 500 people on board is “in distress off the coast east of the Malta archipelago”. The monitoring service for activists on migrant routes tweeted that “authorities have been notified: We urge immediate action to rescue migrants whose lives are in danger,” the post read.
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