HUMANITARIAN SHIP RESCUES 141 MIGRANTS IN FIRST MISSION SINCE ROW WITH ITALY

2 years ago tajikistannewsgazette.com Comments Off on HUMANITARIAN SHIP RESCUES 141 MIGRANTS IN FIRST MISSION SINCE ROW WITH ITALY

A humanitarian ship rescued 141 migrants packed onto wooden boats off the coast of Libya on Friday in its first mission since it was caught in a standoff with Italy and Malta over their refusal to let rescued migrants ashore.

When Italy turned the Aquarius away in June and Malta followed suit, the ship spent a gruelling nine days at sea before eventually disembarking the migrants in Spain. The row also drew in the European Union and France and political tensions have persisted between Rome and Paris since.

Run by Franco-German charity SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders (MSF), the Aquarius rescued 25 migrants, including six women, from a small wooden boat about 25 nautical miles off the Libyan coast.

Conditions were calm and sunny on Friday but the boat, weighed down by too many passengers, sat low above the water line. Those aboard looked tense and worried as the rescuers approached, handed them life jackets and helped them onto the humanitarian ship.

Later 116 others were taken off a second wooden boat in the same area, including 38 women and 73 under the age of 18. Though larger, this vessel was also packed tight with passengers. Among them, a small frightened boy sat on the boat's rim, looking anxiously towards the rescuers.

Both boats were spotted from the ship's bridge.

The Libyan coastguard was informed and is the coordinating authority of the rescues, the Aquarius wrote on its online ship's log. The Aquarius set out last week on its 10th mission this year after a two-month pause.

Italy's new government, which took power in June, refuses to take in migrants rescued by humanitarian ships, accusing them of acting as a "taxi service" in a bid to get EU partners to shoulder more of the burden of migrant arrivals.

"In its callous refusal to allow refugees and migrants to disembark in its ports, Italy is using human lives as bargaining chips," Amnesty International's Matteo de Bellis said on Wednesday, condemning EU policies for the central Mediterranean.

The Aquarius has not yet been given a place of safety to disembark those rescued on Friday. According to international law, refugees cannot be put back in harm's way after being saved at sea.

"Aquarius is now waiting for instructions from the Libyan (rescue coordination centre)," the ship's digital log said.

The crew made clear before setting out that it would not return migrants to Libya, which is not considered safe harbour for migrants and refugees by both the United Nations and the European Union.

Due to pressure from Italy and Malta, most charity ships are no longer patrolling off the coast of Libya. More than 650,000 migrants have come to Italy's shores since 2014.

Though departures from Libya have fallen dramatically this year, people smugglers are still pushing some boats out to sea and an estimated 720 people died in June and July when charity ships were mainly absent, Amnesty International estimates.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Related Posts

Rescuers Comb Through Mud for Japan Flood Victims; 134 Dead

tajikistannewsgazette.com 2 years ago
KURASHIKI, JAPAN �Rescuers were combing through mud-covered hillsides and along riverbanks Tuesday searching for dozens of people missing after heavy rains unleashed flooding and mudslides in southwestern Japan, where... Read More

Monumental Scapegoat: Tajik Villagers, Embarrassed By Statue, Put It Out To Pasture

tajikistannewsgazette.com 2 years ago
In a monumental turnaround, authorities in a southern Tajik town have removed a statue honoring a revered native son, the Siberian ibex, after residents complained it was harming their... Read More

TBEA Will Launch Gold Processing Plant in Ayni

tajikistannewsgazette.com 2 months ago
DUSHANBE(NIAT Khovar) The topic of the Sughd Governor Rajabboy Ahmadzoda and Director of TBEA Dushanbe Mining's discussion centered on the operation of the gold processing plant in... Read More

Tajikistan’s Banned Islamic Party Claims Former Members Hit By ‘Wave Of Arrests’

tajikistannewsgazette.com 2 years ago
The Islamic Renaissance Party (IRPT) says it halted its activities in Tajikistan nearly three years ago, when it was outlawed by the Supreme Court. What hasn't stopped, the Islam-rooted... Read More

HUMANITARIAN SHIP RESCUES 141 MIGRANTS IN FIRST MISSION SINCE ROW WITH ITALY

2 years ago tajikistannewsgazette.com Comments Off on HUMANITARIAN SHIP RESCUES 141 MIGRANTS IN FIRST MISSION SINCE ROW WITH ITALY

A humanitarian ship rescued 141 migrants packed onto wooden boats off the coast of Libya on Friday in its first mission since it was caught in a standoff with Italy and Malta over their refusal to let rescued migrants ashore.

When Italy turned the Aquarius away in June and Malta followed suit, the ship spent a gruelling nine days at sea before eventually disembarking the migrants in Spain. The row also drew in the European Union and France and political tensions have persisted between Rome and Paris since.

Run by Franco-German charity SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders (MSF), the Aquarius rescued 25 migrants, including six women, from a small wooden boat about 25 nautical miles off the Libyan coast.

Conditions were calm and sunny on Friday but the boat, weighed down by too many passengers, sat low above the water line. Those aboard looked tense and worried as the rescuers approached, handed them life jackets and helped them onto the humanitarian ship.

Later 116 others were taken off a second wooden boat in the same area, including 38 women and 73 under the age of 18. Though larger, this vessel was also packed tight with passengers. Among them, a small frightened boy sat on the boat's rim, looking anxiously towards the rescuers.

Both boats were spotted from the ship's bridge.

The Libyan coastguard was informed and is the coordinating authority of the rescues, the Aquarius wrote on its online ship's log. The Aquarius set out last week on its 10th mission this year after a two-month pause.

Italy's new government, which took power in June, refuses to take in migrants rescued by humanitarian ships, accusing them of acting as a "taxi service" in a bid to get EU partners to shoulder more of the burden of migrant arrivals.

"In its callous refusal to allow refugees and migrants to disembark in its ports, Italy is using human lives as bargaining chips," Amnesty International's Matteo de Bellis said on Wednesday, condemning EU policies for the central Mediterranean.

The Aquarius has not yet been given a place of safety to disembark those rescued on Friday. According to international law, refugees cannot be put back in harm's way after being saved at sea.

"Aquarius is now waiting for instructions from the Libyan (rescue coordination centre)," the ship's digital log said.

The crew made clear before setting out that it would not return migrants to Libya, which is not considered safe harbour for migrants and refugees by both the United Nations and the European Union.

Due to pressure from Italy and Malta, most charity ships are no longer patrolling off the coast of Libya. More than 650,000 migrants have come to Italy's shores since 2014.

Though departures from Libya have fallen dramatically this year, people smugglers are still pushing some boats out to sea and an estimated 720 people died in June and July when charity ships were mainly absent, Amnesty International estimates.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

Related Posts

Brazil beat Colombia in Chapecoense benefit match

tajikistannewsgazette.com 3 years ago
DUSHANBE, 26.01.2017. /NIAT Khovar/. Palmeiras forward Dudu scored a second-half goal as Brazil defeated Colombia 1-0 in a friendly to raise money for victims of the Chapecoense air disaster... Read More

Tajikistan Initiates High Level Side Event on Countering Terrorism

tajikistannewsgazette.com 6 months ago
A highlevel event International and Regional Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Its Financing Through Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime initiated by Tajikistan was held on Friday on the... Read More

“Istiqlol” won a major victory over “Ceres Negros” in the AFC Cup-2017 first interzonal semi-final match

tajikistannewsgazette.com 3 years ago

DUSHANBE, 23.08.2017 /NIAT Khovar/. The champion of Tajikistan � Dushanbe's FC Istiqlol in the AFC Cup-2017 first interzonal semi-final match won a major victory over the Philippine Ceres Negros... Read More

Dushanbe legislature endorses city’s budget for 2020

tajikistannewsgazette.com 3 months ago
Compared to this year the revenue part of the Dushanbe budget for 2020 is expected to rise more than 30 percent.Members of Dushanbe local council (Majlis) have endorsed the... Read More