Italy makes a selective disembarkation of immigrants from a humanitarian ship

The Italian Government of Giorgia Meloni has begun this Sunday to put into practice its new philosophy of selective landings and has allowed 144 people to get off the ship humanity 1, from the German NGO SOS Humanity, immigrants to 35 people on board, all adult men with no medical problems. They have only endorsed the disembarkation of minors and the most vulnerable people with health problems, while the rest are still waiting on board the humanitarian ship.

The humanity 1 It is one of four NGO ships that have been waiting for days for a safe port after having rescued more than 1,000 migrants in international waters off the coast of Libya, but Meloni, following his philosophy of iron fist against immigration, has decided open a war against humanitarian organizations, urging that the flag states of the ship (Norway and Germany) take responsibility for the rescued.

Police and members of the Red Cross help migrants disembark from the Humanity 1 ship of the NGO SOS Humanity, in the port of Catania.


After worsening weather conditions and food shortages, Italy finally allowed these ships to enter its territorial waters yesterday but announced that only the “vulnerable” could disembark, while the rest should seek asylum on board the ship. , something that according to the NGOs violates international treaties and that the opposition sees as an “inhumane” policy.

The first boat where the new directive has been applied is the humanity 1, which had rescued 179 people and had been in search of a safe harbor ever since. Italian officials have entered the ship to identify minors and frail people, the only ones who have been able to set foot in Catania. “I am not the captain, I do not decide,” said Petra Krischok, spokesperson for SOS Humanity, “but leaving the port of Catania if all the migrants on board do not disembark would be illegal, because they are all refugees.”

After receiving this news, moments of high tension have been experienced on the ship. A person has fainted and has had to be taken by an ambulance. However, the Italian Government has once again applied this policy with another of the ships, the Geo Barents of Doctors Without Borders, with 572 migrants exhausted after days at sea, which will also dock at the port of Catania to disembark only those who suffer from an “emergency or health condition”.


The SOS Humanity 1 rescue ship, run by the German organization SOS Humanitarian, is seen at sea off the coast of Sicily.

Salvatore Cavalli/AP

According to a new decree signed by the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, the Minister of Infrastructures, Matteo Salvini, and the Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto, “all the people who remain on the boat will in any case be guaranteed assistance to get out of international waters”. That is, they must return to international waters without being able to disembark. They are also waiting for the small German ship Rise Abovewith 93 people, and the ship ocean viking of SOS Mediterranée with 234 survivors.

The issue has led to a first diplomatic disagreement between Rome and Germany and Norway. “If an NGO ship has a German flag, there are two options. Either Germany recognizes it and takes charge of it, or it becomes a pirate ship,” Meloni said in an interview for the book by journalist Bruno Vespa. If Berlin already asked Rome on Thursday to allow at least 100 minors aboard Humanity 1 to disembark, on Friday the Norwegian embassy in Italy raised its tone by saying that Oslo has “no responsibility” for the rescued migrants in the Mediterranean,

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TOPSHOT - Migrants prepare to get on board the Ocean Viking ship sailing in the international waters off Libya in the Mediterranean Sea, after being rescued by European maritime-humanitarian organization

Meloni’s line is very similar to the one that the league player Matteo Salvini had when he was the holder of this portfolio. They consider that migrants rescued by NGOs should only disembark in Italy if redistribution and reception in other European countries have previously been agreed. The argument of the current Interior Minister is that Italy already takes care of all the others who reach its shores without being rescued by humanitarian organizations, which represent 85% of them.


The Humanity 1 ship of the non-governmental organization SOS Humanity arrives at the port of Catania with 179 refugees


Italy makes a selective disembarkation of immigrants from a humanitarian ship