Italy refuses to allow entry of immigrants rescued by NGO ships

The italian authorities have expressed again its refusal to allow the entry of immigrants rescued by ships belonging to various NGOs in the Mediterranean and have asked that it be precisely the countries whose flags these boats fly that welcome the migrants in question.

“We cannot bring migrants who are rescued at sea by foreign ships that operate without any kind of coordination with the authorities», has asserted the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, as reported by the newspaper Corriere della Sera.

Piantedosi has indicated that immigrants who arrive in the country after being rescued by these ships account for 16% of arrivalsalthough the Government deals with the other 84% that arrives at the Italian coasts in boats that are assisted by the authorities. “Italy will not abandon your duty to rescue people in the seabut European solidarity must become a reality”, he said.

Thus, he has asked greater ‘solidarity’ on the part of Europe and has insisted that it be the countries whose flags fly these ships that accept these immigrants now that nearly a thousand of them are on board the ships ‘Humanity 1’, ‘Geo Barents’ and ‘Ocean Viking’ at the hoping to find a safe port near the Italian coast.

The ‘Humanity 1’ has a German flag and the other two have a Norwegian flag. NGOs have warned of bad weather conditions, which are getting worse.

More than 500 migrants are still aboard the ‘Geo Barents’

The NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has warned that the ‘Geo Barents’ is waiting to find a safe port in which dock with 572 people on boardincluding three pregnant women and more than 60 minors.

The organization has warned that although all the rescues have been carried out in Maltese waters, the Government has not given any rescue instructions or responded to calls for a safe port, which “contradicts international law”. MSF has also asked to disembark in Italy on three other occasions.

“We have 572 people on board with 572 different stories”, explained Riccardo Gatti, head of the MSF search and rescue team aboard the ‘Geo Barents’. “On board is a boy who is determined to go to Germany. His mother is there, terminally ill with cancer. He wants to see her one last time before she leaves,” he said.

It is expected that this Wednesday the migration agreement reached between Italy and Libya will be renewed and that it will be in force for another three years. The pact, sponsored by the European Union, has meant the delivery of millions of euros in financial and technical assistance to the Libyan Coast Guardwhich has intercepted more than 100,000 people at sea since it was first signed in 2017.

However, the NGO has denounced the “cycle of violence financed by this agreement” and has repeatedly stated that Libya “is not a safe place for migrants to be returned.”

Italy refuses to allow entry of immigrants rescued by NGO ships