Charity Ships allowed to dock in Italy

Italy allows charity rescue ships to dock

News Southern Italy

Two charity rescue ships that had been waiting for days to disembark were given permission to dock after one of them issued an ultimatum. There were over 430 on board the two vessels.

Over 430 people rescued in the Mediterranean prepared to disembark in Sicily today. The agreement came just hours after one of the two ships awaiting permission to dock issued an ultimatum to Italy.

The Mare Jonio charity rescue ship, owned by the Italian NGO Mediterranea, told the interior ministry yesterday it would “enter the first accessible port” without permission if its requests for a safe harbour were not answered within 10 hours.

The vessel was carrying 92 people rescued in two operations on 5 June and 6 June in international waters around Libya and Malta. These included some 30 unaccompanied minors.

It was assigned the port of Pozzallo in southern Sicily and was set to disembark those rescued today.

Sea Watch 3 also given permission

Fellow German charity Sea Watch 3 was also assigned Pozzallo. There were 352 people on board the German vessel. The organisation said yesterday said its vessel had been waiting for a port for four days.

“After exhausting days, finally a port of safety for the #SeaWatch3”, it said Thursday on Twitter.

charity ships allowed to dock in Italy. Sea Watch announced their ship could dock via Twitter.

Nearly 120 of those rescued by the Sea Watch were unaccompanied minors.

Charities request European solidarity mechanism

Charities have accused Italy’s government of deliberately being slow to assign ports to their rescue vessels in a bid to dissuade people from attempting the dangerous crossing from north Africa.

SOS Mediterranee has rescued nearly 1,000 migrants since the beginning of the year. The organisation called yesterday for the urgent adoption of a European solidarity mechanism to avoid such delays.

Its Ocean Viking vessel rescued some 300 people, including a three-month-old baby and six pregnant women, on its last mission in May; however, it had to wait up to 10 days to enter a safe port.

Some 17,000 people have crossed the central Mediterranean since the start of the year, according to Italy’s interior ministry.

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