Italy authorizes 180 “Ocean Viking” migrants to land in Sicily
The Italian authorities today authorized 180 migrants to land in Sicily on board the humanitarian vessel “Ocean Viking”, managed by the non-governmental organization (NGO) SOS Méditerranée, which announced the decision of the Government of Rome on Twitter.
The NGO said that the ship was allowed to dock at Porto Empodocle, in the south of Sicily, where the rescuers are expected to disembark on Monday.
“Relief at the ‘Ocean Viking’, as the ship was finally instructed to go to Porto Empodocle, Sicily. The 180 rescued [in the Mediterranean Sea] will land at the port tomorrow [Monday] ”, reads on Twitter.
However, the Italian Interior Ministry has already said that the 180 migrants will be transferred to another vessel, where they will spend two weeks in quarantine.
“They are allowed to be transferred on board the ‘Moby Zaza’, a ‘ferryboat’ that is moored in the Sicilian port,” said Italian Interior Minister Dino Martirano.
On Twitter, SOS Méditerranée, however, criticized the “unnecessary delay in landing”, which, he maintained, “put lives at risk”, since some of the 180 migrants have already been on board for ten days ”after being rescued from June 25th.
Among those rescued are 25 minors and a pregnant woman.
“Over the past few days, the European Union (EU) has remained silent. We saw no initiative to rethink the Malta Agreement and to transfer the rescued people. There are no signs of solidarity with the coastal states [of the Mediterranean] ”, stressed the non-governmental organization.
SOS Méditerranée recalled that, on Saturday, a team of Italian doctors examined the health status of migrants, also tested them at covid-19, and was able to report in the report the “enormous psychological distress” that prevailed among the rescued, something that NGOs had already denounced in the last few days, having even declared the state of emergency on board.
The NGO also requested the evacuation of 44 people for health reasons, but none of the countries responded to the requests.
The ship assisted the 180 migrants in four operations, the first of which occurred on June 25. Since then, he has asked Italy and Malta six times for authorization to dock at any port in the region, and only today has he received a response.
The wait for migrants in the Mediterranean and the lack of a solution on the horizon for days led Thursday to some of those rescued to throw themselves into the sea, however, they were immediately rescued by the ship’s crew.
In September 2019, Italy, Malta, Germany and France defined in La Valletta a plan for the redistribution of migrants rescued from the sea.
This year, in early April, Italy and Malta declared that their ports were not safe for migrants rescued from the sea due to the state of emergency in both countries due to the covid-19 pandemic.
This article is available in: Português