Rescue ship with 179 migrants on board allowed to enter Italian port

By Baris Seckin

ROME (AA): Italy allowed a German-flagged rescue ship to enter a port in Sicily and disembark women, children and ill migrants, according to local media reports on Sunday.

Humanity-1, operated by German charity SOS Humanity, entered the port of Catania escorted by an Italian coast guard boat.

In line with the latest decree on irregular migration issued by the right-wing coalition government led by Giorgia Meloni, Italian authorities carried out health checks for the rescued 179 people on board.

Also, it was stated that 35 migrants who are said to be adult men without medical problems were not allowed to disembark.

SOS Humanity said Italian authorities asked the captain to leave with the 35 men, but he refused to do so.

“Maritime law obliges him to bring all those rescued from distress at sea to a place of safety. The survivors have the right to an individual protection assessment, which can only take place on land,” it said on Twitter.

In a related development, the Norwegian-flagged Geo Barents ship operated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which rescued 572 people in the Mediterranean Sea recently, was not assigned a safe harbor.

The ship, however, was allowed to stay in Italian territorial waters until help was provided to those who need urgent medical intervention.

According to the Italian Interior Ministry, more than 88,000 people have arrived by sea in Italy since 1 January.

[Photo: The name “Diciotti” seen on board in Crotone, Italy on October 26 , 2022. 650 migrants, departed from Libya, had been taken in the port of Crotone by Diciotti patrol vessel of the Italian Coast Guard. Photojournalist :Valeria Ferraro/AA]

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