Sec­ond res­cue boat de­fies Italy, docks with mi­grants

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

A char­ity res­cue ves­sel on Satur­day brought 41 ship­wrecked mi­grants into port in Lampe­dusa, the sec­ond boat to defy far-right In­te­rior Min­is­ter Mat­teo Salvini’s bid to close Ital­ian ports to them.

NGO Mediter­ranea’s Ital­ian-flagged Alex was met by a strong po­lice pres­ence on the quay­side but peo­ple were not al­lowed to dis­em­bark af­ter spend­ing two days with the res­cued mi­grants and asylum seekers on the sail­boat.

“I do not au­tho­rize any land­ing for those who couldn’t care less about Ital­ian laws and help the peo­ple smug­glers,” pop­ulist deputy prime min­is­ter Salvini tweeted as night fell.

Salvini last month is­sued a de­cree that would bring fines of up to 50,000 eu­ros ($57,000) for the cap­tain, owner and op­er­a­tor of a ves­sel “en­ter­ing Ital­ian ter­ri­to­rial waters with­out au­tho­riza­tion.”

Mediter­ranea tweeted back a re­quest to dis­em­bark those res­cued, say­ing it had sailed to “the only pos­si­ble safe port for land­ing,” cit­ing “in­tol­er­a­ble hy­giene con­di­tions aboard.”

“Ship­wrecks and crew are ex­hausted... peo­ple res­cued need to be cared for... this is a sur­real sit­u­a­tion and it is an un­nec­es­sary cru­elty to pro­long the wait.”

Au­thor­i­ties on Lampe­dusa last week seized an­other res­cue ship be­long­ing to Ger­man aid group Sea-watch af­ter it forced its way into port with dozens of res­cued mi­grants on board and ar­rested its cap­tain, Carola Rack­ete. wang­[email protected] glob­al­

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