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The ‘Humanity 1’ disobeys Italy’s order to set sail from Catania with 35 migrants on board

The 35 migrants rescued by the ship ‘Humanity 1’ that Italy refuses to welcome in the port of Catania -SOS HUMANITY


The captain of the rescue ship ‘Humanity 1’ has disobeyed an order to set sail from the Italian port of Catania with 35 of the rescued migrants still on board after Italian authorities accepted only underage migrants and their mothers.

“At around 11:30 a.m., the ‘Humanity 1’ was asked to leave the port of Catania with 35 survivors on board. The captain has refused this order. The Law of the Sea obliges him to take all those rescued at sea to port. safe,” explained the German NGO SOS Humanity, owner of the ship, in a message posted on Twitter.

The organization has highlighted that “survivors have the right to an evaluation of individual protection and that can only be done on land. Returning these 35 people who seek protection in territorial waters to the sea is a form of collective expulsion and therefore it is illegal. “. The NGO considers all migrants to be refugees.

A total of 144 migrants have disembarked from the ship, all minors, including a newborn. They have been cared for by Civil Protection personnel and volunteers from the Italian Red Cross who provided water, coffee, diapers and blankets to the new arrivals.

The measures are in line with the policy recently announced by Italian Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, a member of the government led by far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who had promised to tighten the national migration policy during his campaign.

Italy now allows the disembarkation of injured men, women and children, in general, but wants to hold accountable the countries in which the rescue boats are registered. In the case of ‘Humanity 1’, that country is Germany.

The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonio Tajani, has called this Sunday for a solution at the European Union level to the problem of immigrants who arrive by boat. In statements to ‘Il Messaggero’, Tajani explained that it is correct to accept the sick, women and children, although he has recognized that the Government has reinforced its identification policy.

“We cannot turn the Mediterranean into a graveyard, but we have to know who is on board, where they come from and where they were collected,” he said.

Amnesty International and the Italian opposition have rejected this selective reception and have warned that it is a violation of International Law.

“It is a violation of international law, it is a violation of the Geneva Convention on Refugees,” the president of Amnesty International France, Jean-Claude Samouiller, told RFI.

“Don’t classify people like that! On the contrary, we welcome them in the territory and facilitate the procedures if they wish to apply for asylum and after an in-depth and individual examination of each person to find out whether or not they have the right to refugee status, which It depends on how they are persecuted in their own country, so that we don’t send people back without offering them asylum,” he argued.

Samouillier also recalled the situation of immigrants in Libya, which he described as “absolutely hellish”: “there is forced prostitution, rape, torture of immigrants, forced labor”. “Some are in a situation of slavery and the European Union cannot be an accomplice in this indignity,” she snapped.

“It is absolutely necessary that the countries of the European Union respect international law and save people at sea. They cannot compromise on the right of asylum and the European Union must live up to its international commitments and values ​​on which Europe was founded”, he stressed.

Also the deputy of the Green Alliance and the Left Aboubakar Soumahoro has criticized this “selective reception” from the port of Catania itself. “I am outraged, you cannot speculate with babies, women, children, people exhausted by fatigue, traumatized and exhausted by the cold, because of what is happening,” he lamented in statements collected by the Italian news agency AGI.

The secretary general of the Democratic Party, Enrico Letta, has criticized this “unacceptable” policy on Twitter and “contrary to the principles of humanity and international standards.”

“The government’s choice to arbitrarily distinguish who can disembark and who cannot, also seems to be devoid of any legal basis,” added the spokeswoman for the Democratic Party in the Chamber of Deputies, Debora Serracchiani.

“We ask Minister Piantedosi to come to the Chamber to report on the options taken for the landing of ‘Humanity 1’ in Catania,” he added. “These options seem illegitimate, contrary to International Law and unacceptable from a humanitarian point of view,” he stressed.

Three other boats operated by private rescue organizations and carrying rescued migrants are stopped off the eastern coast of Sicily awaiting authorization from a port. The ships ‘Rise Above’ (95), ‘Geo Barents’ (572) and ‘Ocean Viking’ (234) carry a total of 901 rescued migrants.



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