Immigration: Italy prevents immigrant men from disembarking on Italian soil
Italy’s new far-right government has prevented 35 men from disembarking a migrant rescue ship that had been pleading for two weeks to enter an Italian port.
But it allowed minors and sick people to go to the port of Sicily.
Humanity 1 is one of the ships carrying migrants awaiting permission to disembark on Italian soil.
And Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni promised during her election campaign to take measures that would eliminate the phenomenon of migrants from North African countries crossing the Mediterranean Sea into Italy.
Italy is one of the main entry points for migrants to Europe. According to UN reports, 85,000 migrants arrived in Italy by boat in 2022.
Many migrants begin their journey across the Mediterranean in small boats and are then rescued by relief vessels along the way.
On Sunday morning, the Italian authorities approved the disembarkation of 144 people from the German-flagged “Humanity 1”.
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantidosi said that “those who do not qualify” to be among the most vulnerable groups should leave Italian waters, stressing that “the country flying the ship’s flag” should treat them.
The charity that owns the ship said sentiment among the stranded migrants was largely depressed. Petra Kreshuk from the Save Our Lives Foundation (SOS) told AFP that one of the migrants was suffering from a “nervous breakdown”.
The foundation added: “Preventing people in need of assistance from disembarking is a violation of international law.”
Three other ships carrying 900 migrants applied to enter the Italian port but were not given permission to dock there.
Italian Prime Minister Meloni put immigration at the forefront of her government’s concerns in her first address to the House of Representatives.
“We have to stop illegal departures and human trafficking,” said the prime minister, but emphasized that she had no intention “of discussing asylum for people fleeing war and persecution.”
In a press interview, she emphasized that the responsibility for the migrants stuck on the ships lies with the countries where these ships are registered, otherwise they would become “pirate ships”.
Meloni leads the Brotherhood of Italy, which has its roots in Italian fascism in the post-WWII era, and the party rose to power at the head of a governing coalition that includes the far-right Coalition and the centre-right Forza party under led by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
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