Open Arms enters Italian waters outside Lampedusa

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The Spanish humanitarian ship Open Arms entered Italian territorial waters off the Italian island of Lampedusa with 147 rescued migrants on board .

It headed to the island after a judge in Rome suspended far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini’s decree banning the vessel from Italy’s territorial waters.

The Proactiva Open Arms charity which operates the ship said it would not try to force entry to Lampedusa port, as another rescue vessel, the Sea-Watch 3, did in June, prompting its seizure and the arrest of its captain.

Migrant ship Open Arms heads for Italian port of Lampedusa
A view of Spanish humanitarian ship Open Arms, with 147 migrants on board, in the immediate vicinity of Lampedusa, southern Italy, 15 August 2019. Several patrol boats of the Italian finance guard and the harbor master’s office are monitoring the movements of the Spanish NGO boat that headed towards the island of Pelagie, escorted by two military ships, after the Lazio Regional Administrative Court accepted its appeal, suspending the ban on entry into Italian waters ordered by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. EPA-EFE/ELIO DESIDERIO

The Open Arms is seeking shelter from 2.5-metre swells along with the Ocean Viking ship operated by SOS Méditerranée and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which has more than 350 migrants plucked from the Mediterranean on board.

Both Italy and Malta have refused both vessels permission to dock and unload their passengers.

 

Via ANSA/ Reuters

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