This was decided by the authorities after the refugees on board were found to be of “medium and high psychological risk”. A social democratic parliamentarian confirmed that the refugees are allowed to go ashore on board the NGO ship. This was greeted with cheers from the people on board.
Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni confirmed that her government wanted to defend “legality and security”. “That’s why we want to stop illegal immigration, prevent new deaths at sea and fight human traffickers. Citizens have asked us to defend Italy’s borders and this government will not break its word,” Meloni wrote on Facebook.
“The climate has finally changed”
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi has denied human rights violations by the government in Rome when dealing with the refugees rescued at sea. “We don’t accept anyone’s teachings from the point of view of human rights,” Piantedosi said, according to the media on Tuesday. In this regard, Piantedosi pointed out that the migrants “are not at sea, they are safe”.
Transport Minister Matteo Salvini on Tuesday welcomed France’s decision to allow migrants to land in Marseille aboard the rescue ship Ocean Viking, operated by French NGO SOS Mediterranée. “The climate has finally changed,” said Salvini. The Ocean Viking has 234 people on board, including 55 minors, 43 of whom are unaccompanied. French Interior Ministry sources said that all are allowed to land in the French port.
“Rise Above” was allowed to land in Calabria
The crew of the German “Rise Above” brought all 89 migrants ashore on Tuesday. In the morning, the women, men and children left the Mission Lifeline boat in the port of Reggio Calabria. Now the “political kidnapping” on the other ships must also be ended, the association tweeted from Dresden.
Two weeks after the ultra-right government took office in Rome, the first major conflict between the anti-immigrant right-wing coalition and the international sea rescuers threatens to escalate. Two NGOs in the Sicilian city of Catania were asked to leave the port with their ships and some of the rescued people. Both refuse.
Hunger strike on the “Humanity 1”
Around 30 of the 35 migrants on the German “Humanity 1” are on hunger strike, as confirmed by Petra Krischok from the organization SOS Humanity. The men told the crew that they had not eaten in 40 hours and that the public should know. The rescuers want to share further details of the protest and the general situation at a press conference on Wednesday.
So the situation on board continues to deteriorate. “Applicable law is being trampled on,” said captain Joachim Ebeling. “When I see that I have people on board who have the right to go ashore but are prevented from doing so by the authorities, I just get angry.” He underlined that he would not move the ship until all migrants were ashore.
The most recent development confirms his humanitarian actions. “What we’re experiencing here right now doesn’t give me any doubts about doing something like this again,” said the Bremen native of the German Press Agency. “It has always been impossible for me to let people drown and not help them when they need help.”
“Rather drown than go back”
The crew is trying to encourage the 35 men and take away their fears that they could be taken to Libya, where they started their crossing in boats. Many said they would rather drown than have to go back to civil war land.
SOS Humanity has already taken legal action. At a court in Catania, urgent asylum applications were made for the 35 migrants. A lawyer also filed a complaint with the administrative court in Rome against a decree by the Ministry of the Interior of Italy’s new right-wing government. The decree stipulates that the “Humanity 1” must leave Italian waters and take with it all migrants who are not in an emergency situation. Such an assessment was made during a “very superficial medical check-up”, criticized SOS Humanity spokeswoman Krischok.