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German-flagged charity vessel refuses to leave Italian port

German NGO said that the captain of the Humanity 1, who is legally responsible for ensuring the safety of all passengers aboard, declined to allow the 35 survivors to board the ship.

Rome stated earlier that minors and people in immediate need of medical attention were permitted to board the Humanity1. The ship was allowed to dock in Catania.

Two other vessels carrying nearly 1,000 migrants each were waiting for Italy’s right-wing government permission to dock. They were on the seabed off Italy for more than a week.

Matteo Piantedosi (Interior Minister) stated Friday that Humanity1 would be sent from territorial water after all passengers have been allowed to disembark.

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According to the German NGO 35 migrants were in poor health, having fled “inhumane” conditions in Libya.

Mirka Schaefer, a SOS Humanity advocate officer, stated in an email that this “deprives them both their right to freedom and their right to go onshore in a secure place”.

According to Reuters, a second charity ship that had asked Rome for a port suitable for 572 migrants docked in Catania.


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As with Humanity1, the Italian government has granted permission for the geo Barents dock to disembark only those who are in urgent need of assistance.

“Selective, partial disembarkation as proposed by the Italian authorities are not to be considered legal under maritime law conventions,” said international NGO Medicins sans Frontieres, which manages the geo Barents ship.

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