Tag Archives: Libya

Open Arms migrants receive Hollywood-style support

The Spanish ship Open Arms has been stranded off Italy‘s island of Lampedusa for eight days because none of the EU governments is willing to accept any number of migrants from the group of the 121 passengers navigated from Libyan coasts.

The Hollywood star Richard Gere helped to bring food and supplies to the boat and asked for support for the migrants and NGO, whose passengers include nine-month-old Ethiopian twins.

Everyone is doing okay now,” Gere said in a video published by Open Arms.

The rescue ship has been waiting for eight days for any EU government to welcome migrants. However not everybody is convinced by migrants drama: “Richard Gere on the Open Arms? I hope you get a tan and that you feel good … Since the ship is an NGO that flies the Spanish flag, they can disembark the 120 immigrants in Ibiza or Formentera, right?”  wrote Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.

The 70 years old asylum legislation, created after the WWII, has not been adapted after the collapse of the colonialism. It is worth mentioning that the key documents – the  Geneva Refugée Convention (1951)and its 1967 Protocol, were concluded still in colonial context, while Ghana (formerly the Gold Coast) became the first sub-Saharan African country to gain its independence from European colonization in 1957. At times of endorsement of Geneva Convention, it was beyond imagination that the legislation would be used to enhance flows of illegal migration from African continent to Europe.

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.

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.

Migrants continue to arrive to Italy

An Italian merchant vessel, the Asso 25 that transported 62 illegal migrants to Pozzallo in Sicily. (Pictured above).

Alarm Phone NGO  wrote on social media that they the Maltese authorities did not provide any assistance when they were informed on the goings on in the search and rescue area.

According to ANSA News agency, Minister for Internal Affairs Matteo Salvini and the Pozzallo Port Authority have been informed of the transportation of migrants to Italy.

As many as eleven young people claimed they are minors. However the information given by illegal migrants is provided in the form of affidavit, their own statement about their identities. At present, according to the World Bank, there are more than 500 million people on African continent, who have no birth certificate, no passport. The status of ‘minor‘ they claim allows to profit from it, however there are no juridical mechanisms to verify the reality. Medical check of a ‘minor’, who committed a homicide in Sweden, was undertaken on prosecutors order, and revealed the “Ethiopian boy” was at least 21 instead of 15 he claimed.

Hundred migrants arrived to Genoa

An Italian navy ship ‘Cigala Fulgosi‘ docked in Genoa transporting to Italy 100 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea next to Libyan coast, where the number of migrant crossings has grown in recent weeks due to summer weather conditions.

Interior minister, Matteo Salvini, said that the migrants could not stay, and would be transferred to the other European Union member-states or, even, taken in by the Vatican, which openly supports pro-migrant policy.  Since taking office last year, Salvini has vowed to fulfill his electoral promise stop illegal migrants flows from arriving in Italy. So far he failed

The migrants who were transported Genoa were from Libya, Cameroon, Somalia, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Nigeria, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The Italian fleet Cigala Fulgosi vessel was on mission at sea to provide security for oil platforms and fishing vessels off the coast of Libya.

Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta (M5S) from coalition government openly opposises hard line on illegal migration Interior minister conducts, she encourages transportation from Libyan coasts to Italy, in spite of the obvious unpopularity of this practice among the electoral, dropping for Salvini’s Lega one third of ballots in European elections 2019.

Trenta, representing Five Star Movement (M5S)  in the coalition government does opposes Salvini‘s hard line on migrants.

Italy accepts imposed by Sea-Watch migrants

Italian Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini said that children and those with malaise on Sea-Watch vessel were permitted to enter Italy,but the absolute ban remains on the Sea Watch 3 against entering our territorial waters.”

Italy has allowed migrant families rescued at sea by the NGO group Sea-Watch, transporting illegal migrants from Libyan coasts to Europe, to be transferred to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, but is refusing landfall to others.

Sea-Watch says the 18 migrants taken to Lampedusa were mostly families and an injured woman. However, according tot he Sea-Watch there are still migrants, remaining on board, they call them “guests” in a blunt denial of the reality, of illegal migration.

Previously Matteo Salvini reiterated that his government will not allow any of NGO’s search-and-rescue ships to dock. The statement has been made after a vessel exploited by Sea-Watch collected 65 migrants off the Libyan coast this week.

First they were in Libyan waters, then in Maltese waters,” Salvini underlined.
Putting the lives of the migrants on board at risk,  they want to reach Italy at all costs” he continued. “These people are not rescuers, they are human traffickers and they will be treated as such”.
Italy’s ports are closed and will remain closed for traffickers of human beings“, the Minister concluded.

AMENDED: On Sunday the smuggles has celebrated one more victory: all the illegal migrants from Libya were hosted in Italy.

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