Tag Archives: Italy

Migrants land in Lampedusa

A vessel run by Italian NGO Alex Mediterranea has ignored an order to stay out of Lampedusa port, navigating to dock on the island after transporting 41 migrants from  Libyan coast.

The migrants transported from Libyan coast seeking asylum are received be relevant services, while the captain and crew have been put under investigation for alleged involvement in trafficking of illegal migrants, interior ministry sources said.

Another transporting migrants NGO vessel that was engaged in an argument with the Italian authorities, the ‘Alan Kurdi‘, has changed destination and is navigating to Malta with 65 migrants on board, ANSA news agency reports.

Alan Kurdi vessel ignores Italy refusal

The ‘Alan Kurdi‘  vessel run by NGO migrant rescue picked up  65 migrants off
Libya coast. The German NGO Sea-Eye said they would also ignore the refusal of Italy to land, and navigated to Lampedusa, where they wish to drop anchor and land passengers. It is the second boat this week, which ignores the orders of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to stay away from Italian ports.

There is also a woman reporter aboard reporting on the sea-rescue operation.
Italian Interior minister Matteo Salvini said the Sea-Eye  can choose between Tunisia and Germany.

“Anyone who defends the borders and security of my country is welcome,” he said.
He added that the previous NGO boat transporting migrants – Meditrannea Alex – with 54 migrants on board, was recommended to go to Malta, however later on it became clear that the captain of the vessel disobeyed and navigated to Lampedusa, ignoring Salvini‘s ban to enter Italy’s ports.

They are back to coasts of Libya: this encourages departures and the risk of shipwrecks and makes the smugglers happy. These are the NGOs. We will not be intimidated, we will not bow to blackmail, we will defend Italy” Salivin wrote in his Twitter micro blog.

Mediterranea captain disobeys Italy orders

The Italian NGO Mediterranea‘s Alex migrant rescue vessel carrying 54 people picked up in  Libya waters on July 4 has been stopped off Lampedusa according to a landing ban issued by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, ANSA news agency sources said on July 5.

The vessel of the NGO, which by this time would have arrived in Malta that had given the availability of a safe harbor, breaks the law, ignores the prohibitions and enters Italian waters” Salvini wrote in his Twitter micro blog.

Salvini said the NGO vessel should navigate to Malta or elsewhere, in case it instists on entering Italian waters it would be regarded as an “act of violation“.
Malta offered a port to the ship but the Mediterranea at first said this was “unfeasible“, because of the state of the passengers exhausted by the trip.

The NGO underlined  that because the physical and psychological conditions of the migrants the instructions of Interior minister were impossible to fulfill.

However, Alessandra Sciurba, spokesman of Mediterranea Saving Humans, later communicated that the vessel was ready to transport the migrants at Malta.
It was reported that a Maltese navy ship was send for the Mediterranea to receive the migrants, but the NGO said that they did not have any information about this maneuver.

The Italian navy later offered to transport the Alex‘s migrants to Malta.
The Maltese government said Italy would take 55 migrants  in exchange for the 54 migrants Malta would take from the Mediterranea.

Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio said it was right that the ship should go to Malta; the NGOs that used sailboats like the Mediterranea were “reckless”, he added.

 

Italian Socialist Sassoli new Europarl president

Italian MEP for a decade, former journalist David-Maria Sassoli has been elected as the new president of the European Parliament.

Mr Sassoli, (63) received the support of 345 out of a total of 667 MEPs in the second round of voting in Strasbourg Plenary session.

The centre-left politician was in competition with three other candidates. He has  assumed the respuonsibility of assembly speaker immediately.

In his frist press-conference in his new capacity Sassoli vowed to deliver more democracy to the European citizens, and even open wider doors for NGO, ensuring everyone is heard. He also regretted insufficient democratic tools in EU, and promised to work on improvement on institutional democratic procedures.

The vote took place in one day delay caused by protracted crisis Summit of the EU leaders stuck in disagreement over top jobs nominations. The proposed and agreed among leaders of the member-states list of candidates for top jobs should be endorsed by European Parliament. Sassoli promised to ensure comprehensive debate.

Answering questions Sassoli pointed out that Dublin regulation should be amended because it is not more relevant to the current context. He said that European Council has a “moral obligation” to discuss asylum system to ensure Dublin as amended.

ISIS fighter repatriated to Italy

An Italian foreign fighter was repatriated on after being arrested in Syria, ANSA news agency reports. (Image above: illustration).
Samir Bougana, (25) from Moroccan  origin, allegedly first fought with militias affiliated to Al Qaeda and then with ISIS.

An arrest warrant for Bougana  was issued for the crime of association with terrorism after Brescia prosecutors opened an investigation into his activities in 2015. He is suspected to have reached the war zone in 2013 from Germany. His repatriation was fulfilled in cooperation between the Italian authorities and the FBI, who contacted the Kurdish-Syrian forces that Bougana surrendered to in August 2018.

Bougana was born in Gavardo, near Brescia, and lived in Italy until he was 16 before moving to Germany with his family.

Italy insists Dutch assuming responsibility for SeaWatch3

Carola Rackete, the captain of the Sea-Watch 3 migrant-rescue ship, has been put under investigation by prosecutors in the Sicilian city of Agrigento, Italian media reports.

The vessel is currently anchored in front of the port of Lampedusa after capitan Rackete defied an order to stay out off Italian waters on June 26. The migrants were collected by the crew off Libya coasts over two weeks ago.

German national, Rackete (31) is being probed for allegedly  dealings with illegal immigration when refusing to obey a military vessel, the Italian sources said.

Prime minister Giuseppe Conte said that several EU States have agreed to take some of the around 40 migrants on board the Sea-Watch 3 to resolve the situation of the NGO vessel passengers.

“Three or four countries are willing to take part in the redistribution of the Sea-Watch migrants, Conte said to reporters at the G20 summit in Japan. Foreign ministry sources informed four EU countries expressed readiness to take some of the Sea-Watch migrants, including France, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal.
On the sidelines of the G20 Conte had a meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte about the Sea-Watch case.

The vessel is managed but a German NGO but it navigates under Dutch flag and Italian authorities insist the Netherlands should assume the responsibility. This week the Italian Embassy in The Hague took a formal step about a possible dereliction of duty by the Dutch authorities.

Salvini trades barbs with Sea Watch NGO

 Italy Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has criticized the Sea-Watch NGO after it refused to take 52 migrants collected off Libya this week to Tripoli. The Sea Watch 3 vessel, which is close to the Italian island of Lampedusa, at one stage seemed to have turned towards Malta, but Salvini said it is not navigating there.

No Malta,” Salvini explained via Twitter micro blog. “The #SeaWatch NGO ship has changed route again: it is swaying in the Mediterranean playing a game on the backs of the immigrants, even though it asked for a port and obtained it in Tripoli.

We are witnessing the umpteenth show,Salvini continued his criticism of the NGO. “They say they are good, but they are kidnapping women and children in the middle of the sea”.

Sea-Watch refuses to anchor in Tripoli for safety reasons. “Forcibly taking rescued people back to a war-torn country, having them imprisoned and tortured, is a crime,” the German NGO said.

Meanwhile the Italian government, based on its right to protect sovereign sea borders the same way as land ones,  has endorsed a new decree that would apply to NGO ships with illegal migrants rescued at sea to Italy without official permission fined up to 50,000 euros.

Matteo Salvini rhetoric has hardened after his Lega party impressive victory in the European elections 2019, bringing him a approval of more than a third of the Italian electorate.

In spite of the Interior minister reluctance to accept illegal migrants, the NGO has been successfully using the combination international Conventions endorsed after the WWII dating from colonial era, and the Law of the Sea to continue imposing the flows of illegal migrants on Italy.

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