Seventeen days after the case of the Sea-Watch3 whose skipper was cleared of ramming a police boat in Lampedusa earlier this week, the Italian NGO Mediterranea Saving Humans’ Alex migrant rescue ship carrying 54 migrants rescued off Libya has been stopped off Lampedusa.
The ban was according to a landing ban issued by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, sources said Friday. Salvini said the ship must go to Malta or else it “will be an act of violence”.
Malta offered a port to the ship but the Mediterranea at first said this was “unfeasible”, because of the physical and psychological conditions of the migrants.
However later on a spokesperson for Mediterranea Saving Humans, said they were ready to offload the migrants at Malta.
The Italian navy offered to take the Alex’s migrants to Malta. And the first 13 “vulnerable” individuals including women and children and their families were taken aboard a Coast Guard cutter.
Meanwhile The ‘Alan Kurdi’ migrant rescue ship (named after the Kurdish toddler who died in the Mediterranean sea) run by German NGO Sea-Eye rescued 65 migrants off Libya Friday.
It said it was now awaiting a response to landing requests from Malta, Rome and Tripoli.
Meanwhile the head of the Italian magistrates union, the ANM, said Salvini should explain where the judge who released the Sea-Watch3 skipper, judging her innocent of ramming a police boat, went wrong.
Preliminary investigations judge Alessandra Vella released Carola Rackete saying she had acted properly in saving migrants at risk of drowning and had not deliberately rammed the Guardia di Finanza boat.
Salvini called Vella’s ruling “disgraceful” and said she should stand for election if she wanted to make such “political” decisions.