In the port of Catania
Sea rescuers bring more migrants ashore in Sicily
In Sicily, the Italian authorities have allowed nearly 360 boat migrants from the sea rescue ship “Geo Barents” to go ashore. The aid organization Doctors Without Borders, which operates the ship, said on Monday that 214 people would have to remain on board.
Migrants disembark from the rescue ship Geo Barents in the port of Catania. Photo: Salvatore Cavalli/AP/dpa
The authorities allowed the “Geo Barents” to enter the port of Catania on Sunday to take women, children and the injured overboard after an inspection. The crew had previously rescued the migrants from distress in the Mediterranean Sea.
The German “Humanity 1” is still in Catania with 35 migrants on board. The SOS Humanity ship should have sailed again, but the captain refused. The 59-year-old captain justified this by saying that a rescue mission is only over when all the shipwrecked are in a safe place.
Rome’s new right-wing government only wants to let those in need ashore. According to Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, the rest should return to international waters with sea rescuers. Italy sees the flag states as responsible and therefore also Germany.
According to the aid organizations, Italy is violating international law with this action. SOS Humanity wants to take legal action against it. In addition, the German “Rise Above” from Mission Lifeline and the “Ocean Viking” from SOS Méditerranée were waiting for a port off Sicily on Monday. Mission Lifeline said it evacuated four of the remaining 93 people overnight due to medical emergencies. There are more than 230 rescued migrants on the “Ocean Viking”.