Italian Authorities Arrest Ship Rescuing Immigrants
Italian inspectors in Sicily found defects in the vessel of the aid organization Doctors Without Borders. The ship does not satisfy security standards, they stated on Friday.
After several hours of inspection, the "Geo Barents" now has to stay in port due to defects. The organization Doctors Without Borders accuses the authorities of discrimination.
The authorities in Sicily have arrested a rescue ship from the aid organization Doctors Without Borders. On Friday, inspectors in the port city of Augusta inspected the Geo Barents for several hours, Médecins Sans Frontières announced on Twitter. Now the ship is being held for defects. The organization accuses the authorities of targeting rescue ships operated by civil aid organizations with such controls. It is the thirteenth time in three years that the Italian authorities have blocked a civilian rescue ship.
The Sea-Eye 4 and the Sea-Watch 4 are also currently set. According to a Sea-Watch spokeswoman, the most recent set Sea-Watch 3, received approval to sail to her Spanish home port of Burriana in order to repair defects. The authorities repeatedly complain about the ships' equipment or that they are categorized in the wrong class for their missions.
While port state controls are a legitimate maritime practice to ensure safety at sea, the Italian authorities target NGOs with these inspections.
At the same time, more and more people would die in the Mediterranean. In Lampedusa, the corpses of the youngest castaways are a cruel reminder of the negligence of European states, it said. The number of deaths has tripled compared to the previous year. We will take all necessary measures to get back to sea as quickly as possible because NGO ships are needed to fill the deadly void.
At least 43 migrants drowned off the coast of Tunisia
Significantly more migrants are currently crossing the Mediterranean towards Europe than in the previous year. Almost 21,000 people had arrived by Friday yesterday in 2021; in the same period of the previous year, there were around 7,300, stated the representative of the Italian Ministry of the Interior, Many others did not even make the crossing: According to the UN organization IOM, 723 people died during their migration across the central Mediterranean this year alone, almost three times as many as in the whole of last year when the IOM counted 249 deaths.
Most recently, 43 migrants had an accident off Tunisia's coast. A spokesman for the Tunisian Red Crescent said they had set out in Libya and their boat sank off the Tunisian coast. In addition, 84 people from Sudan, Eritrea, and Bangladesh were rescued in an operation that began on Friday. They were brought to the port of the Tunisian city of Zarzis. The accommodations for migrants in Tunisia are overcrowded, however, said the spokesman.