144 migrants disembarked from the Humanity 1 ship after docking in an Italian port
144 of the 179 migrants aboard the ‘Humanity 1’, a German-flagged NGO search and rescue vessel, disembarked in the Italian port of Catania after authorities allowed an anchorage on the eastern quay of the port, the day before last.
Italian news channel Rai News reported yesterday that the migrants abandoned the ship after authorities completed an inspection process to identify “vulnerable” people, women and children, who were allowed to disembark.
She added that there were 35 adult males aboard the ship with no health problems.
Speaking about the ship, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantidosi said: “People who meet the conditions can disembark and we take care of those suffering from social and humanitarian problems, without losing sight of the responsibility of the flag state. He added: “The others should return outside territorial waters and the flag state should take care of them.” We will stick to this principle without prejudice to humanitarian commitments, which we will never back down from.” “I’m not the captain, I don’t make the decision, but leaving the port of Catania without all the migrants on board would be illegal because they all are refugees,” said Petra Krechuk, a spokeswoman for SOS Humanity, which operates the ship. She emphasized: “The first people to go under were minors and small children, accompanied by their mothers … Catania was not described as a safe haven for us.”
Meanwhile, three NGO ships are waiting off the coast of eastern Sicily hoping to offer them a safe haven to disembark rescued migrants in the Mediterranean.
The ships expected are: Rise Abaf with 90 people, the Norwegian ship Ocean Viking with 234 migrants and the Norwegian-flagged ship Geo Barents operated by Médecins Sans Frontières with 572 people on board. Geo Barents is currently waiting about 12 miles off the coast of Catania.
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