Migrants reacued off Libyan coast by Sea Watch allowed to land in Italy

Migrants from Somalia and Eritrea look at the Sea-Watch from the freight ship Shaya, Mediterranean Sea, July 23, 2015..

Families with children saved in the Mediterranean by the German charity Sea-Watch were given permission to land in Italy Friday, despite the interior minister’s “closed ports” policy.

“Italian authorities have informed us of their availability to disembark families on board: children, mothers, fathers,” Sea-Watch said on Twitter, two days after it rescued 65 migrants in distress off Libya, AFP reported Friday.

Seven children were disembarked, along with seven mothers, three fathers and an injured man, the Italian interior ministry said.

Save the Children had appealed earlier Friday for an end to the odyssey of those who had risked the perilous crossing from North Africa to seek safety in Europe.

As the Italian coast guard began transferring the families to the island of Lampedusa, the charity insisted the remaining migrants should be allowed off too.

“All lives are equal, and have the right to a port of safety.

“If Italy’s not willing to do so, the EU must shoulder its responsibilities and find a solution,” it said on Twitter.

On Wednesday, far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had issued a snap directive banning the Sea Watch vessel from entering Italian territorial waters, saying “our ports are and remain closed” — a statement he repeated Friday.

The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Libyan Express.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to oped@libyanexpress.com. Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.
You might also like

Submit a Correction

For: Migrants reacued off Libyan coast by Sea Watch allowed to land in Italy

Your suggestion have been successfully submitted

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Libyan Express will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.