Italy seizes Spanish Proactivia Open Arms ship for snubbing Libya coastguards’ orders

Libyan coastguards accuse Spanish rescue ship of hindering sea rescue operation [Photo: Archive]
Italian authorities accused Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms of aiding illegal immigration after one of their boats refused to take migrants rescued from the Mediterranean to Libya, heading instead to southern Italy.

Proactiva’s rescue ship was being held on court orders on Monday in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo, where it arrived on Saturday carrying some 200 migrants that it had picked up from hazardous dinghies in international waters off Libya.

According to the Italian coast guard, Libyan authorities are responsible for patrolling the area and taking in people rescued there, under a migration agreement between Italy and Libya designed to reduce the number of crossings from North Africa to southern Europe.

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