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Migrants: Matteo Salvini forbids access to Italy to "Mare Jonio", a humanitarian ship


The ship chartered by the Italian NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans transports a hundred migrants, including 28 miners, rescued Wednesday morning off the coast of Libya.

Photo provided by the Italian NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans of a group of migrants rescued off the Libyan coast Wednesday, August 28, 2019. AP

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini signed a decree on Wednesday (August 28th) banning a humanitarian ship carrying about 100 migrants rescued off the Libyan coast from entering Italy's territorial waters.

This decision is undoubtedly one of the last of the leader of the League (extreme right) within the resigning government of Giuseppe Conte which he caused the explosion three weeks ago.

The decree is for the Mare Jonio, a ship chartered by the Italian NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans who recovered Wednesday morning the hundred migrants, including at least 28 minors including 22 children under 10 years and eight pregnant women, according to the organization, aboard a rubber boat starting to take water.

Alle 8.35 di questa mattina the nave #MareJonio ha completato il salvataggio di circa cento persone tra cui 26 gives ...

- RescueMed (@Mediterranea Saving Humans)

According to the organization, it was possible to spot, with a radar, the inflatable boat drifting and overloaded with migrants. "You arrived just in time," survivors told an Italian journalist from La Repubblica aboard the boat. "The tire was going to sink. He started last night to deflate. He was hit by a wave and many of us fell into the water. Six did not swim and died, " they said.

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900 deaths in the Mediterranean in 2019

The Mare Jonio had been sequestrated in May under Matteo Salvini's antimigrant legislation, but the measure was lifted in August. The ship had joined the search and rescue area earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Mr Salvini, who, like the rest of the government, dispatches current affairs but keeps his legal prerogatives, also banned, by decree, the entry into the Italian territorial waters of the humanitarian ship Eleonore, under German flag, also carrying a hundred migrants on board. The German NGO Mission Lifeline announced on Monday that it rescued migrants found on a boat in the Mediterranean, while claiming that its crew had been attacked by the Libyan coastguard.

Lifeline, a Dutch-flagged boat belonging to the same German NGO, had been placed in receivership in June in Malta, where it had docked with more than 230 migrants on board. The captain of this ship, Claus-Peter Reisch, was accused by the Maltese and Italian authorities of breaking the rules by refusing to comply with the orders of the Libyan Coast Guard. He was sentenced to a heavy fine for irregularities concerning the registration of the boat, but appealed the decision. He is now at the controls of the Eleonore.

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Italy and Malta systematically refuse to land vessels that have rescued migrants from their territorial waters if a distribution agreement is not found with other European countries.

"What would have happened to the 28 children, 26 women, eight pregnant women without the help of RescueMed [Mediterranea Saving Humans] ?, wonders on Twitter Carlotta Sami, spokesman for the United Nations High Commission refugees (UNHCR). At least 900 people lost their lives in the Mediterranean this year. Tragedies that could have been avoided if humanitarian action was no longer used for political purposes. "

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Source: lemonde

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